Nation Topics - Jails and Prisons
News and Features
America now leads the world in the number of people behind bars. But
hope is emerging that state governments and the courts will seek to hold back
the hand of the carceral state.
California's juvenile justice system is broken everywhere you look. An ambitious plan for reform could bring much-needed improvements, but does it go far enough?
Prison rape is not a dirty joke; it's one of the most frequent and
widespread human rights abuses in America.
If a society is measured by the treatment of its prisoners, we are in deeper trouble in New Orleans than we realize. The biggest prison crisis since Attica is now unfolding in the devastated city, with inmates jammed into inadequate facilities, often abused and unrepresented by attorneys or advocates.
The lives and deaths of two prisoners intersected this week--Stanley
Tookie Williams and Richard Williams, flawed men whose political
perspectives and pursuit of personal redemption were inspired by
a radical social consciousness.
Americans wondered how Army Specialist Charles Graner could torture
detainees in the gruesome Abu Ghraib scandal. In war, people do things
that would otherwise be unthinkable. But this former corrections
officer with a record of spousal abuse has always been at war.
A showdown looms in Congress this week over two competing measures
involving bedrock human and legal rights: John McCain's legislation to
ban all forms of torture and Lindsey Graham's proposal to strip federal courts of the power to hear habeas corpus
appeals by terror suspects.
As the clock ticks down to former gang leader Stanley
Tookie Williiams's scheduled execution on December 13, football great
Jim Brown is helping lead the fight to convince Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger to grant clemency.
Recycling electronics using US prison labor is a booming business, with
a captive workforce paid pennies per hour for dangerous work that is
largely unregulated. The human and environmental consequences of
negligent handling and disposal of electronic waste are considerable.
The detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib were both a
continuation and a divergence from historical prison practices.