On Wednesday, New York State correctional system announced an upcoming overhaul of their solitary confinement process. As one of the largest prison systems in America, this move could signal a trend for the rest of America, if shifts go according to plan.
An incredibly American (or social-bureaucratic Russian-novel-nightmarish, can’t decide) story in the Chicago Tribune begins:
On March 20th, a female inmate was being transported from Brooklyn to Rikers Island when she claims she was brutally sexually assaulted by one of the correctional officers on the bus. The attack, which lasted more than 15 minutes, was witnessed by another guard who did nothing to protect the victim but stayed to watch.
USA Today’s Kevin Johnson has followed the lives of nine inmates who were all released from solitary confinement on the same day in 2002. All of the men were felons, Texans, and while all of them hoped to remain out of prison, none of them were given a transition period between “the box” and the street. Now, 13 years…
Synthia China Blast is a Latina trans woman who, according to her family, has been in involuntary protective custody (IPC), a glorified form of solitary confinement, for almost 20 years. When we spoke, Synthia was incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility, a men’s prison about two hours north of New York City.
A three-man debate team at Eastern Correctional Facility, a New York State maximum-security prison formerly known as the “State Institution for Male Defective Delinquents,” beat Harvard University in a competition in September—and is receiving another, well-deserved wave of recognition for this feat.
A South African judge has put a hold on Oscar Pistorius’s release from prison for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius may not be released this Friday after 10 months in jail, the judge said, citing confusion over protocol.
A California parole board has recommended that Michelle-Lael Norsworthy be released from prison. Norsworthy had been at the center of a contentious fight between herself and the state of California, whom she had petitioned to pay for sex reassignment surgery.
Remember in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy Dufresne had to crawl through miles of shit-covered pipes in order to get to freedom? That might have been good for a fictional framed murderer from Maine, but it would never be good enough for Joaquin Guzmán, whose own escape tunnel is so fucking epic you’d almost want…
Amidst celebrations over the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states, we cannot overlook enduring injustices for members of the queer community. But, hopefully, the United States has taken one more small step in the right direction.
Any takers, gentlemen?
On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on America’s bail bond system, pointing out that it often jails poor innocent people for not being as wealthy as known criminal Robert Durst—instead of crimes. And because Americans love entertainment, we’ve carved out a cottage industry of bounty hunter television shows…
The Prison Rape Elimination Act has a pretty self-evident mission, and yet, somehow, there are still people who manage to be against it. PREA, first passed in 2003 and finalized in 2012, establishes basic standards to keep American prisoners from being assaulted by other inmates or (more commonly) guards. Yet a…
Christina Lorena Reber, the woman who mercilessly tore her ex boyfriend's testicles to bits in 2012, has just been sentenced to two years in connection to what the courts referred to as "an extraordinarily heinous injury."
A former inmate is suing Rogers State Prison in Georgia for placing her in the same protective holding cell as her rapist and failing to protect her as she was once again sexually assaulted.
This week marks the 45th anniversary of the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders committed by the Manson Family. One of the killers, Patricia Krenwinkel, is now the longest-serving woman in the California prison system. Speaking for the first time on-camera in 20 years, she takes full responsibility for her crimes.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina are suing the Russian government over their 2012 imprisonment.
On May 19, after a two year-long trial, Cecily McMillan was found guilty of assaulting an NYD police officer, Officer Grantley Bovell. She was sentenced to 90 days in Rikers Island Correctional Facility, plus five years of probation. A pacifist activist and grad school student, she had testified that she reacted…