Prison



The Los Angeles Times reports on the largest prisoner protest in state history:

California officials don’t plan until Tuesday afternoon to update the situation in prisons throughout the state, where 30,000 inmates on Monday began refusing meals.

The mass protest was called for months ago by a group of inmate leaders in isolation at Pelican Bay State Prison over conditions in solitary confinement, where inmates may be held indefinitely without access to phone calls.

But inmates in at least five other prisons have provided their own lists of demands. They seek such things as warmer clothing, cleaning supplies, and better food, as well as changes in how suspected gang activity is investigated and punished. Lawyers for a group of Pelican Bay hunger strike leaders, who also are suing in federal court over what they contend are inhumane conditions, are to meet with their clients Tuesday.











“As his face faded from the television screen, the light in my eyes dimmed.” Natalie Solidarity writes at Diatribe Media: My gentle friend was returned to state custody even as I willed…






With jails fuller than ever and government budgets being slashed, is the future of prisoner management the robo-correctional officer? Via CBS News:

The world’s first corrections service robot allows for efficient prisoner management and takes on a number of simple tasks for guards while closing the communication gap between prisoners and their guards. The prisoners are protected from situations such as suicide, arson and assault. Furthermore, it recognizes repeated behaviors of prisoners, and detects anomalies in advance, protecting incidents from happening in the first place.



Via Al Jazeera English:

The US has the highest prison population in the world – some of whom  have been subjected to lengthy sentences for relatively minor crimes.  And that population has surged over the past three decades.

Although there has been a slight reduction in the past year, more  than two million people are either incarcerated in prison or in jail  awaiting trial.

The US has the highest rate of imprisonment in  the world, with 743 people incarcerated for every 100,000 Americans. No  other nation even comes close to these figures.

One explanation for the boom in the prison population is the mandatory sentencing imposed for drug offences and the “tough on crime” attitude that has prevailed since the 1980s.

But it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes US prison policy. Some prisoners are locked up for life – literally – and many receive harsh sentences for non-violent crime…


From Burlington Free Press:

How did an image of a pig — the infamous ’60s-era epithet by protesters for police officers — wind up on a decal used on as many as 30 Vermont State Police cruisers?

State officials Thursday pointed to the failure of the quality assurance office within the Vermont Correctional Industries Print Shop in St. Albans to detect a prisoner-artist’s addition made four years ago to the traditional state police logo. A spot on the shoulder of the cow in the state emblem was modified into a pig…

vermont police pig




Pelican Bay Hunger StrikeDavid Edwards writes on The Raw Story:

Between 50 and 100 inmates in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have pledged to refuse to eat until officials agree to better conditions.

Isaac Ontiveros of the anti-prison group Critical Resistance explained the prisoners’ demands to DemocracyNow.

“End the use of group punishment and administrative abuse; abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria; comply with the commission on safety and abuse in America’s prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement; provide adequate and nutritious food; and expand and provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU status inmates.”