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Prison News Archive

Latest news, organized by topic (below) or region/state (right), concerning a range of issues in the corrections industry. Comments, suggestions and contributions (below) appreciated.

Prison News by Topic

Alerts

  1. FBI Most Wanted Fugitives

Education & Rehabilitation

  1. Panel Discusses Link Between Education, Incarceration and Job Opportunities
    On Friday, September 12, a distinguished panel of guests and academics gathered at the Helen Bader Foundation in downtown Milwaukee to discuss the economic and social issues faced by incarcerated men and women in the state of Wisconsin....[more]

  2. Symposium addresses inmate reintegration Performances and discussion focus on importance of restoring Pell Grants to prisoners
    “Our beginnings have already been established, but our ends are nowhere in sight,” voiced performers from the College and Community Fellowship’s Theater for Social Change in a call for prison inmates to gain greater access to education at a symposium Tuesday....[more]

  3. Substance abuse programs, under fire at Northampton County Prison, to be reviewed
    Northampton County officials agreed this week that a closer overview of the county prison's multimillion-dollar substance abuse programs was needed after an audit called their success rate into question.

    Controller Stephen Barron reviewed for county council an audit of the Community Education Centers programs offered at the prison. According to the company's own statistics, about 40 percent of graduates wound up back in Northampton County Prison, he said Thursday....[more]


  4. We can’t afford to ignore drug addiction in prison
    Many states have shortened prison time for drug crimes, and the federal system is inching toward doing the same, with new guidelines that will be effective Nov. 1 and retroactive releases starting a year later....[more]

  5. Ex-offenders get help to make most of their freedom
    Up to 500 people on parole or probation are expected to attend the Summit of Hope, where state and social service agencies and employers will try to link up those who’ve had scrapes with the law with services or jobs, officials said....[more]

  6. Poll: Prisons struggling with inmate rehabilitation
    The poll released last week asked 804 registered Wisconsin voters to rate how they think the system is doing at turning inmates into contributing members of society. A little more than 41 percent said the system was doing a fair job and 31 percent said the state was doing a poor job. Almost 18 percent said it was doing a good job and 3.6 percent said it was doing an excellent job....[more]

  7. Program Aims To Make Inmates Better Fathers
    WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — A program at the Maine state prison in Windham is trying not just to make inmates better citizens when they’re released, but better fathers as well.

    The InsideOut Dad program at the Maine Correctional Center was developed by the nonprofit National Fatherhood Initiative....[more]


  8. Jail inmates volunteer in cemetery cleanup
    JOPLIN, Mo. — Everyone working to clean the overgrown Alexander Cemetery on Wednesday was there as a volunteer.

    The crew included three inmates at the Jasper County Jail, who had volunteered for the workday, and four members of the Jasper County Cemetery Preservation Committee....[more]


  9. Inmates grow roses in horticulture program
    PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Many of the women at the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center expressed skepticism when they first laid eyes on a shipment of what appeared to be nothing more than twigs.

    “They were just these spindly, little Charlie Brown things,” Dina Tyler, a deputy director for the Department of Community Correction, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette....[more]


  10. Justice Department's new rules would offer clemency to inmates with no violent history
    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced new rules on Wednesday that potentially would make thousands of federal inmates eligible for presidential grants of clemency, including a requirement that candidates must have served at least 10 years of their sentences and have no history of violence....[more]

See more in Education & Rehabilitation

Executions, Death Row & the Death Penalty

  1. Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings And the American Death Penalty
    We are going to war again in Iraq and expanding the bombing to Syria, the seventh country in the Middle East to be graced with American bombings since 2001 (not including Gaza-Palestine, where American bombs are piloted by Israeli largesse). We’re doing this why? Because two Americans and a Brit were beheaded and American media whipped public opinion into a frenzy over it. The same media shrugged when 200,000 Syrians were butchered over the past three years, most of them by the same guy to whom the U.S. Air Force is about to give aid and comfort. The same media chest-thumped and encouraged the butchery of 2,000 Palestinians in July, about a q...[more]

  2. Death row inmate’s lawyers urge court to halt execution, cite drug question
    ST. LOUIS

    Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate have asked a federal court to postpone his lethal injection, claiming two top officials with the Department of Corrections lied under oath about use of the sedative midazolam in executions....[more]


  3. Death penalty debate isn’t simple for families of victims
    Botched executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona and continuing problems with lethal-injection drugs have put the death penalty back in the news. After a brief moratorium following Oklahoma’s debacle, my state, Missouri, has resumed executing its death-row prisoners. One of the condemned men there murdered the wife of the man I would later marry....[more]

  4. Arizona Loose With Its Rules in Executions, Records Show
    PHOENIX — In an execution in 2010 in Arizona, the presiding doctor was supposed to connect the intravenous line to the convict’s arm — a procedure written into the state’s lethal injection protocol and considered by many doctors as the easiest and best way to attach a line. Instead he chose to use a vein in an upper thigh, near the groin....[more]

  5. Death row odds: innocents executed
    An estimated 4.1 percent of all death row inmates are innocent, according to a study published in the April Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers Samuel Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, and Edward H Kennedy, from the University of Michigan Law School, the Michigan State University College of Law, the American College of Radiology Clinical Research Center, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, respectively, came up with this stunning figure by using the exoneration rate on death row and extending it to inmates whose capital punishment has been replaced by life imprisonment, at which point efforts to exon...[more]

  6. Slow executions could affect Nevada cases
    The cases could be used to pile on to the ever-growing number of legal challenges to capital punishment in the Silver State, adding the argument that the use of lethal injection should be considered a cruel and unusual form of punishment, said Clark County Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee....[more]

  7. History Of Lethal Injection Problems In US Executions
    Since Texas became the first state to use lethal injection as its execution method on Dec. 7, 1982, some problems have been reported during the process nationwide. Those include delays in finding suitable veins, needles becoming clogged or disengaged, and reactions from inmates who appeared to be under stress. Some examples:

    • July 23, 2014. Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half after his execution began in Arizona......[more]


  8. Appeals Judge Says Guillotine 'Probably Best' for Executions
    A federal appeals judge issued a blistering dissent in a death-row case on Monday, declaring that an execution system that relies on drugs is doomed and the guillotine would be better.

    "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote....[more]


  9. EX-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR EMERGES, TALKS DEATH PENALTY
    In this July 3, 2014 photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan speaks at his home in Kankakee, Ill. Ryan, who served a five federal prison term for corruption, a year of home confinement, and has just completed another year of supervision, is eager to pick up where he left off when he left politics for prison in 2006 - campaigning for the end of the death penalty in the U.S. While in office Ryan put a moratorium on the death penalty after numerous cases were overturned exonerating inmates who collectively spend decades in prison. Ryan spoke extensively about the current state of Illinois and national politics, the death penalty and about the cr...[more]

  10. Areli Escobar seeking new trial
    Lawyers for death row inmate Areli Escobar are seeking to overturn his conviction, contending that one of the jurors who sentenced him in May 2011 hid the fact that he had once worked with the defendant before his murder trial....[more]

See more in Executions and Death Row

Gangs in Prison

  1. 31 indicted in NYC gang crackdown
    The affiliated street gangs are called SNOW, Loyalty Over Everything and Young Bosses.

    They've operated primarily in the Rosedale, Laurelton and Rochdale Village neighborhoods.

    The defendants range in age from 15 to 22.

    The case was announced Wednesday by District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Police Commissioner William Bratton....[more]


  2. For St. Louis Gangs, Ferguson Has Become a Recruiting Tool
    As they ran through a cloud of tear gas during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday, Andre Ellis, 17, linked arms with Graig “Shine” Cook, a self-identified Bloods gang member who’d befriended him two nights earlier.

    “What we doing now that they gassed us?” asked Ellis, the Bloods’s newest recruit, half his face covered with a red handkerchief traditionally worn by the gang’s members. “Should we go home?”...[more]


  3. Obama/ Democrats Importing MS-13 Gang Members
    Known for their identifying tattoos and violent mottos like “Mata, roba, viola, controla” (“Kill, steal, rape, control”), members of MS-13 are known for executing their victims with machetes and blunt objects like baseball bats. (AP File Photo)...[more]

  4. Federal trial underway for four members of violent 10th Street Gang Four stand accused of murder, conspiracy
    Shortly after midnight on Easter Sunday of 2006, in a working class West Side neighborhood, the bloody feud between members of the Seventh and 10th Street gangs spilled over into the world of two innocent bystanders....[more]

  5. Jailed ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez briefly hospitalized: Report
    Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who is in a Massachusetts jail awaiting trial on murder charges, was removed from his cell for a brief hospital visit over the weekend, a local TV station reported on Sunday....[more]

  6. Gang dragnet sweeps up 72 of LA's hard-core Crips
    For more than two decades, a street gang known as the Five Deuce Broadway Gangster Crips has terrorised the territory it calls its own in South Central Los Angeles, while profiting from the sale of drugs to vulnerable, homeless addicts in the city’s blighted Skid Row district. But this week, 50 suspected members – almost one third of the entire gang – found themselves behind bars following a major bust by the FBI and LAPD....[more]

  7. Saginaw 'Gang Task Force' back on city streets through FBI, Michigan State Police partnership
    SAGINAW, MI — After nearly two years on the shelf, the police agency commonly known as Saginaw's Gang Task Force is back on the streets.

    "Our job is to disrupt and dismantle," says FBI Senior Resident Agent Steven T. Flattery.

    The multi-agency force, which has operated in various incarnations since its inception in the mid-1990s, began working Saginaw's streets on May 12....[more]


  8. Report shows Las Cruces inmate stabbed 43 times Autopsy: Las Cruces inmate was stabbed more than 40 times in gang-related attack
    LAS CRCUES, N.M. (AP) — An inmate killed in a gang-related attack at a Las Cruces state prison was stabbed more than 40 times, according to an autopsy report released this week.

    The Las Cruces Sun-News reported (http://bit.ly/1xoHzFV) Friday that the state Office of the Medical Investigator found 34-year-old Javier Enrique Molina suffered 43 stab wounds and five other cuts....[more]


  9. In violent Honduras, soccer offers the young an escape from gangs, drugs and early death
    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — From where he sits on a dusty soccer pitch between the fetid Choluteca River and four-lane Armed Forces Boulevard, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala can see only two ways out of the gang-controlled slums of the capital: on a professional soccer team, or in a cheap coffin....[more]

  10. EASTSIDE CHURCH IS CHANGING IN A 'POST-GANG ERA'
    Pastor Pete Bradford, a reformed "dope fiend" from San Diego, went out into the streets of Boyle Heights looking for gang members to pray over. Finding them wasn't hard....[more]

See more in Prison Gangs

Health & Medical Treatment


  1. Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown
    Day or night, the lights inside cell 135C of central New Mexico's Valencia County Detention Center were always on.

    Locked inside, alone, for months, Jan Green — a 52-year-old computer technician with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — rocked on a bench for hours, confiding in an imaginary companion.

    "I would talk and hold conversations just in my little crazy world, I guess you would say, just to keep me company," Green says....[more]


  2. Ala. prisons hit with worst TB outbreak in 5 years
    BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Alabama's prison system, badly overcrowded and facing a lawsuit over medical treatment of inmates, is facing its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years, a health official said Thursday.

    Pam Barrett, director of tuberculosis control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said medical officials have diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons so far this year....[more]


  3. Orleans sheriff plan OKd for mentally ill inmates
    U.S. District Judge Lance Africk's order calls for the city to spend more than $400,000 on the plan initially for renovations and supplies at the state's Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, where the inmates will be housed. The city also will be required to supply more than $200,000 monthly for security and mental health staff at Hunt, and food for inmates.

    Africk's ruling is the latest in the court-ordered jail reform effort. The city, which funds the jail, and the sheriff, who manages it, have been at odds over how to fund the changes....[more]


  4. California Prison Officials Rethink Use of Force on Mentally Ill Inmates -- Prison Guards Would Be Required to Consider Mental-Health Status Before Using Force
    California prison officials have proposed new policies regarding the use of force after videos of prison guards dousing mentally ill prisoners with pepper spray surfaced during a civil trial last year....[more]

  5. California Revises Policy on Mentally Ill Inmates
    The changes, which were introduced on Friday, were set in motion after videos showed corrections officers in state prisons dousing severely mentally ill inmates with pepper spray and forcibly removing them from their cells. The videos drew public outrage and were called “horrific” by a federal judge who ordered the footage made public last year....[more]

  6. State urges court to review prison health ruling
    PHOENIX (AP) — The state of Arizona has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling nearly two months ago that concluded about 33,000 inmates could join a lawsuit protesting the quality of health care in the state's prisons....[more]

  7. Thousands of prisoners treated for mental illness
    Nearly 10% of the 216,000 inmates are receiving medications designed to treat an array of illnesses, from depression and bipolar disorder to acute schizophrenia. The BOP's disclosure comes as government officials have raised questions about the costs of confining such large populations, while advocates for the mentally ill argue that prisons and jails have become the new repository for people with mental illness....[more]

  8. Mental illness cases swamp criminal justice system -- ON AMERICA'S STREETS, POLICE ENCOUNTERS WITH PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES INCREASINGLY DIRECT RESOURCES AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY ROLES.
    NEWPORT, R.I. — Inside a cluttered downtown apartment that she shares with a cat, the 57-year-old woman is in the midst of a near-meltdown.

    "There's three of them,'' she tells two police officers, referring to "these predators who won't leave me alone. Those sons of bitches won't let me go. ''...[more]


  9. Mental Illness Soars In Prisons, Jails While Inmates Suffer
    Armando Cruz tied a noose around his neck and hanged himself from the ceiling of his prison cell. He left a note that ended in two chilling words....[more]

  10. Behind the yellow door, a man’s mental illness worsens
    Everyone is worried about the man in the house.

    His ex-wife, his mother, his father, his neighbors, the psychiatrists he has seen and no longer sees, they are all concerned because he has been alone in the house in suburban Maryland for two years....[more]


See more in Health & Medical Treatment

Policy & Decision-Making

  1. N.D. incarceration rate climbing; no dramatic drop in crime rate
    Putting more criminals behind bars has not led to a huge drop in North Dakota's crime rate, a new study indicates.

    A Pew Charitable Trust study found that despite locking up 175 percent more people in 2014 than it did in 1994, North Dakota has seen just an 18 percent drop in its overall crime rate during that same period. It is less than half the national average....[more]


  2. Prison Firm CCA Seeks to Reduce Number of Repeat Offenders -- Company Pushes to Reduce Costs Associated with Recidivism
    The nation's largest private prison company is shifting its focus toward helping release more inmates and keep them out—a reaction, company officials say, to changing policies around the country on the severity of criminal punishment....[more]

  3. Escape draws heightens concerns at Ohio prison
    LIMA, Ohio -- The escape by three inmates, including the killer of three students in the 2012 Chardon High School rampage, from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution drew accusations from union officials about inadequate staffing levels and security problems at the facility....[more]

  4. Florida DOC launches inmate deaths website
    Inmate Bryan Kendzia called his mother from Okeechobee Correctional Institution on May 13– hours before he slashed himself with razor blades. Within two days, he was dead as a result of an apparent suicide.

    Sketchy details about Kendzia’s death and those of several other inmates are now available online as part of Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Michael Crews’ effort to give the public a behind-the-scenes glimpse when prisoners die....[more]


  5. State’S Prison Costs Outstrip Colleges -- A sobering discussion on spiraling costs
    Arizona holds 23 percent of its prisoners in 15 private prisons, an expensive proposition, said Dianne Post, spokesperson for the Arizona Justice Alliance, a group that educates the public on the current state of prisons in Arizona....

    ...[more]


  6. Dan Walters: Prison population drops, but local jails become overcrowded
    Under heavy pressure from federal courts to relieve prison overcrowding, but unwilling – for political reasons – to directly release inmates, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature devised realignment.

    Newly convicted felons whose crimes were presumed to be nonviolent, nonsexual and nonserious would be diverted into local jails, and local probation and rehabilitation services, thereby reducing the prison population by attrition....[more]


  7. Oregon’s prison population beginning to decrease -- Study suggests additional reductions would not increase crime rate
    In November 2008, there were 13,615 inmates in Oregon prisons. Five years later, the number of Oregon inmates reached its all-time high of 14,707. Since then, thanks in part to 2013 legislative reforms easing mandatory minimum sentences on certain drug and property crimes, the total has gradually ticked down to 14,632 as of July 1....[more]

  8. 'Empty' Prisons Dotting the USA
    After reading the recent story about a "correctional officer" intimidating a network news reporter for accidentally filming an empty prison at Wilton, NY, I googled "empty prison."

    As it turns out, there are several around the USA....[more]


  9. Packing our prisons isn't making us safer: Robert Mann
    We have the nation's worst murder rate - 10.8 per 100,000, 45 percent higher than runner-up Mississippi - and the nation's highest gun-death rate. Overall, we have the seventh highest crime rate. Just tossing more and more people into prisons (with longer sentences for more crimes) has not made us safer....[more]

  10. Prison Hunger Striker's Wife: Denial of Visits Unconstitutional
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit frequently hears cases brought by prisoners complaining about abuse or facility conditions or seeking to overturn their convictions. On Wednesday a three-judge panel of the court heard a more unusual prison case—one brought by the wife of a Georgia prisoner....[more]

See more in Policy & Decision-Making

Prison Conditions & Corruption

  1. Prosecutor Warns That Rikers Island Problems May Prompt U.S. Lawsuit
    As alarm mounted this year over conditions at the Rikers Island jail complex, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has largely managed to escape scrutiny, because the problems were rooted in the previous mayoralty....[more]

  2. Inmate’s Death in Overheated Rikers Cell Is Ruled Accidental
    The death of a mentally ill veteran in an overheated cell at Rikers Island this year was accidental, the New York City medical examiner’s office ruled on Friday in a case that drew scrutiny to abusive conditions at the jail complex....[more]

  3. Family of Rikers Inmate Sues New York City Over His Death
    The night Bradley Ballard died, he lay naked on the floor of his cell in a mental health observation unit at Rikers Island, weak and covered with feces. He had not been given medication for his schizophrenia and diabetes. And, unbeknown to guards, he had tied a rubber band around his genitals, causing them to become badly infected, New York City investigators later concluded....[more]

  4. More violence at troubled Nashville juvenile jail
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Despite its idyllic-sounding name, the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center had seen a decade of violent clashes, breakout attempts and attacks on guards.

    Then, on Monday night, 32 teens escaped. Just two days later, two dozen detainees broke into the yard wielding sticks and spraying a fire extinguisher....[more]


  5. New York’s Top Jail Investigator Resigns After Inquiry on Rikers Brutality
    The top investigator at the New York Correction Department resigned on Friday under pressure from city leaders who are facing a federal mandate to regain control of the Rikers Island jail complex, where widespread brutality and corruption by guards routinely go unpunished....[more]

  6. The criminal justice system disproportionately punishes Black and Hispanic men, but, as Vox reports, a new study shows that underscoring that inequality can make White people less willing to change it.
    Stanford University researchers conducted experiments in California and New York to study how white people respond to racial inequality in the justice system when given the opportunity to oppose specific policies.

    In the first experiment, White commuters in San Francisco were shown a video with inmate mugshots and told about California’s three-strikes law, which requires harsher sentencing for repeat offenders....[more]


  7. Violence on inmates by Rikers Guards Grew Under Bloomberg
    The portrait that emerged from the report on Rikers Island by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan last week was of a place with almost medieval levels of violence, meted out with startling ferocity by guards and their superiors....[more]

  8. Solitary confinement limited inmate's access to legal advice, lawyer says
    ELIZABETH — The lawyer for a prison inmate who spent three years in solitary confinement said in court today that his client was denied access to legal advisers during that time....[more]

  9. Private Prisons House More Latinos Than Do Public Ones, Study Finds
    In March, Rina Palta reported for Code Switch on a study that found private prisons were disproportionately filled with inmates of color. A broader recent study of federal data from 2005 has revealed something similar: The proportion of white inmates was significantly smaller in private prisons than in public ones, and the proportion of Latino inmates was larger....[more]

  10. Feds say NYC jails extremely violent, unsafe for teenage inmates and that reforms are needed
    NEW YORK, N.Y. - New York City's juvenile jails are extremely violent and unsafe, the result of a deeply ingrained culture of violence in which guards routinely violate constitutional rights of teenage inmates and subject them to "rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force," the federal government said in a scathing report released Monday....[more]

See more in Prison Conditions & Corruption

Prison Life & Culture

  1. Attica Prison Riot’s 43rd Anniversary a Special One
    ATTICA, N.Y.—Hundreds of personal items collected after the 1971 Attica prison riot have been returned to their owners and families.

    New York corrections officials, members of the guards’ union, and family members of those killed marked the 43rd anniversary of the nation’s deadliest prison uprising with a series of events Saturday in front of the western New York prison....[more]


  2. Vegas jail visits halted for 9-11 anniversary
    LAS VEGAS — Clark County Detention Center is putting social visits to inmates on hold for a day because it's the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Las Vegas Police Officer Laura Meltzer says the move is a precaution due to the significance of the date, and in light of recent world events....[more]


  3. ‘Lockup’ off to solid start in portraying life in Fairfax County jail
    The fruits of spending four months, day in and day out, in the Fairfax County jail were unveiled Saturday night when “Lockup: Fairfax” premiered on MSNBC. The show did a fine job capturing slices of life in a jail in one of America’s wealthiest counties, particularly in portraying the professionalism of the deputies here, but it will be interesting to see how deeply they dig into the one issue that bedevils corrections officials everywhere: mental health. It was hinted at in Episode One, but we’ll see how far they go. Some viewers also expressed concerns about the exploitation aspect of the show. It’s a legitimate concern....[more]

  4. Graying of SC prisons will cost state’s taxpayers
    An inmate at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution for women keeps a wheelchair tucked away in the corner of her small, cinder-block cell.

    She has a walker, too.

    The wheelchair and walker are just two of the signs of the exploding population of aging inmates in South Carolina’s prisons.

    Another sign? The dollar sign, as in the increasing cost that S.C. taxpayers will have to pay to care for those aging inmates....[more]


  5. Colorado prisons chief orders Sterling review after 6th inmate killed
    Colorado prison chief Rick Raemisch has ordered a review of the circumstances leading to the murders of six inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility over the past four years, officials said Wednesday. Cody Gray, who was serving a life prison sentence for a sex offense, was the latest casualty. He killed Monday morning in a general population cell, said Adrienne Jacobson, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections. The review will consider whether mistakes have been made in the classifications of inmates, which dictates whether they are placed in secure prisons. “It’s a high number,” Jacobson said, referring to the six murders. “M...[more]

  6. New York inmates riot over missing favourite TV shows due to early bedtimes
    A riot broke out inside one of America’s toughest prisons after an early bedtime prevented inmates from watching their favourite TV shows.

    More than 60 prisoners inside New York’s notorious Rikers Island facility refused to comply with a newly introduced 9pm curfew on Monday night....[more]


  7. A tour of Old Montana State Prison reminds you that life is better on the outside
    Located about three quarters of the way along the I-90 between Missoula and Butte, Deer Lodge is a quiet town that was home for more than a century to the Montana State Prison, a troubled institution that was perennially overcrowded and the sight of several riots, culminating in one that took the life of a deputy warden....[more]

  8. America's convicted juveniles: The stories of those growing up behind the razor wire
    Jesus Macedo-Perez was out driving with friends in his neighbourhood of Elkhart, Indiana, an industrial city on the banks of the St Joseph River known as the "RV capital of the world", but locally renowned for high crime rates, unemployment and communities ravaged by drugs....[more]

  9. Eastern State Penitentiary Hosts "Family Weekend: Pets in Prison" on Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10
    PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern State Penitentiary will host "Family Weekend: Pets in Prison" on Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10 and again on September 27 and 28. The event, designed for kids and adults of all ages, will feature interactive and educational activities all weekend long. Visitors can learn about the role of animals throughout Eastern State's history, meet (and adopt) shelter dogs from a local prison-training program, and participate in animal-themed activities. ...[more]

  10. Inside Oregon prisons: Most inmates at Two Rivers never see the horizon
    Two Rivers Correctional Institution sits about 100 yards from a bucolic bulge in the Columbia River called Lake Wallula. But prisoners inside seldom, if ever, see this grand green pool of water and the irrigated crops beyond....[more]

  11. Public Protest at "Easy Life" Inside Wymott Prison
  12. Scottish Prison Service introduces week-long home leave
  13. 50% Canadians believe prison life "too cushy"
  14. Life in prison made falsely-accused Milgaard question own innocence
  15. Do Women Have it Better than Men in Prison?
  16. What do Wardens Think of Prison Sex?
  17. "Make-Believe" Family Relationships exist among Female Texas Prisoners
  18. Study on Inmate Assaults Clears Up Some Myths About Institutional Conditions
  19. Poorer Outlook on Race Relations in Some British Prisons Rather than Others
See more in Prison Life & Culture

Riots, Lockdowns, and Escapes

  1. Two inmates apparently slain at federal prison in VictorvilleTwo inmates apparently slain at federal prison in Victorville
    VICTORVILLE >> Two inmates died Saturday night at a federal prison here, the victims of an apparent homicide, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

    The FBI is investigating the deaths of the inmates, whose names have not been disclosed pending notification of family members....[more]


  2. VINSON: Jailhouse brawl: A matter of ‘perception’
    A few months back, I went to a local jail to visit a good friend, at that time incarcerated for a driving infraction. It had been several years since I had visited anyone at this particular jail, so I had to re-acclimate to the current protocol for those visiting inmates.

    The last time I’d visited someone at this jail — which was years ago — visitors and inmates could visit face-to-face in an open-space area, with a deputy/jailer monitoring the situation, of course....[more]


  3. Inmate withholds guilty plea in prison riot
    NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — An inmate charged in the May 2012 prison riot that resulted in the death of a correctional officer in Adams County appeared ready to plead guilty to conspiracy of murder before changing his mind in the courtroom....[more]

  4. Inmate dies after fight at Wilkinson County prison
    WOODVILLE, Miss. (AP) - A prison official says one inmate has died and several were injured in a fight at a prison in southwestern Mississippi that resulted in the facility being put on lockdown....[more]

  5. Pa. inmate charged with strangling cellmate
    WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) - A prison inmate has been charged with criminal homicide in the strangulation death of his cellmate at a western Pennsylvania prison earlier this year....[more]

  6. Inmate dies at minimum-security prison in Machiasport - The death is under investigation, and a spokesman refuses to say whether it is considered suspicious.
    Phillip Kay, 32, died at 3:15 p.m. Friday, the department said. Spokesman Scott Fish said Maine State Police and the state medical examiner are investigating the death and no other information could be released immediately....[more]

  7. Suit alleges man beaten to death in parish jail
    FRANKLIN, La. (AP) — A lawsuit filed in St. Mary Parish district court alleges that a 41-year-old Baldwin man was beaten to death in the parish jail in April 2013....[more]

  8. NE Ore. prison on lockdown after inmate fight
    UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon Corrections Department spokeswoman says a northeast Oregon prison is on lockdown after a fight involving two dozen inmates broke out Wednesday in a housing unit....[more]

  9. Inmate dies after assault at jail
    DAYTON — An inmate who suffered serious injuries in an assault at the Tri-County Jail died early Friday morning at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton....[more]

  10. Punjabi men go on hunger strike in U.S. detention facility
    Over hundred Punjabi men were said to be held in detention facilities for undocumented immigrants in El Paso, Texas, this week, with 42 of them continuing with their hunger strike for the fourth consecutive day to protest against authorities’ alleged denial of access to outside resources to the inmates....[more]

See more in Riots, Lockdowns & Escapes

Suicides in Prison

  1. Orleans Parish Prison inmate's suicide was preventable, civil rights lawsuit claims
    The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in federal court on Monday, claims Gusman's office was on notice about inadequate handling of mentally ill inmates by the time Clifton Morgan killed himself in the troubled lockup. A consent decree mandating widespread changes was in place three months before Morgan's Sept. 28, 2013 death....[more]

  2. Washington Prisons Will No Longer Punish Inmates For 'Self-Harm'
    Washington’s prison system has announced a major policy change when it comes to inmates who harm themselves. The Department of Corrections said Thursday that it will no longer sanction inmates for cutting or other acts of self-injury....[more]

  3. Federal lawsuit over inmate’s suicide in 2008 at Portland jail to go forward
    PORTLAND, Maine — A portion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the mother of an inmate who committed suicide while incarcerated at the Cumberland County Jail in 2008 will go forward after the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month upheld a decision by a federal judge in Maine.......[more]

  4. Leslie Schuler, Worcester man who killed son, kills self in prison
    WORCESTER — Leslie G. Schuler, the Worcester man convicted of beating his 7-year-old son to death on Father's Day 2009, committed suicide in prison this morning, according a spokesman for the state Department of Correction. ...[more]

  5. British former public school boy serving life for beheading U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl attempts to commit suicide in Pakistani prison
    A British man serving life imprisonment in Pakistan for the killing of American reporter Daniel Pearl has tried to commit suicide, police have said....[more]

  6. State to pay cost of Cleveland kidnapper autopsy
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state prisons agency has agreed to reimburse county taxpayers for the autopsy of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro after his prison suicide last year....[more]

  7. Coroner: Montgomery man convicted in parents' murders killed self in prison
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say a man convicted of murdering his parents in Montgomery almost nine years ago committed suicide in prison....[more]

  8. Ohio death row inmate called suicide inevitable
    COLUMBUS, OHIO — An Ohio death row inmate who killed himself just days before his execution called his suicide inevitable in a three-page note and expressed resentment that Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro got a life sentence, according to a police report released Thursday....[more]

  9. Inmate awaiting trial in Kentucky HOA deaths kills himself
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An inmate awaiting trial on charges of killing two men at a homeowners association meeting committed suicide by hanging himself from a bed sheet in his cell, jail officials said....[more]

  10. Ariel Castro 'died of auto erotic asphyxiation' and NOT suicide. Had pants round his ankles when guards cut him down
    Ohio officials suggest in a new report it's possible Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died of auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide....[more]

  11. Prison suicide questions institutional conditions
See more in Prison Suicides

Workplace and Industry Issues

  1. Florida Fires 13 Prison Employees In Crackdown
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — State prison officials did some major house cleaning this week, firing a total of 13 people, in the wake of widespread abuse allegations.

    The Florida Department of Corrections on Friday announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution....[more]


  2. Male Guards Can Sue Over Jobs At Women’s Prison
    PITTSFIELD TWP. (AP) - The Michigan appeals court on Wednesday cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit by dozens of male guards who said they’ve been denied overtime and job assignments at the state’s only prison for women solely because they’re men.

    The court, 3-0, affirmed the decision of a Washtenaw County judge....[more]


  3. Aramark facing $200,000 fine; prison union official calls penalty a 'slap on the wrist'
    LANSING — The state will fine Aramark an additional $200,000 and upgrade monitoring of its prison food service, but it has no plans to cancel the controversial contract, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday....[more]

  4. Guest: The havoc of competing for jail contracts
    COMPETITION and the profit motive is the foundation of the American economy, but should it drive the delivery of sensitive government services such as adult detention? For decades, detention policy was pretty simple: Counties operated jails, felons went to county jails, and cities contracted with counties to house their misdemeanants. Some cities operated very small jails but, for the most part, counties provided jail services....[more]

  5. Pot-selling police officer gets 18 months in jail
    As a Buffalo police officer, James Hamilton Sr. was caught in November selling a quarter-pound of his homegrown marijuana to an informant. He pleaded guilty three months later in a deal that would give him somewhere between 18 and 24 months behind bars....[more]

  6. Sheriffs weigh selling e-cigarettes to inmates
    AUSTIN, TEXAS (Texas Tribune) - As a way to allow some inmates to get their nicotine fix and sheriffs to shore up tight budgets, county jails across the country have begun selling electronic cigarettes. Though the trend has largely bypassed Texas, jail officials say that could change as sheriffs begin to warm up to the smokeless technology. ...[more]

  7. Female wardens avoid their desk to walk cell block
    DAYTON, Texas (AP) — An ominous warning is posted in red and white on a thick steel door flanked by fences topped with razor wire: "No hostage shall pass through this gate."

    It is a standing order to this prison's staff and an advisory to any visitors who enter this penitentiary that is home to some of the state's more dangerous sex offenders....[more]


  8. Prison Officers Need Help, but They Won’t Ask for It
    Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Corrections Officers’ Benevolent Association, is recounting a phone call he received two weeks ago from a distraught woman named Melanie. After almost 20 years working under the relentless stress of a New York City jail, Melanie’s corrections officer girlfriend had had enough....[more]

  9. Former staffer shoots herself at Nebraska prison
    YORK, Neb. (AP) — Authorities are investigating why a former staffer at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women walked into the state prison with a rifle and demanded to be let inside before shooting and injuring herself....[more]

  10. Sheriff Pioneers New Secure Technology for Effingham Jail -- All at No Cost to Taxpayers!
    EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA. — This year marks a new era for Effingham, as they became the first county in the Southeast to install wireless inmate tablet technology....[more]

See more in Workplace & Industry Issues

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