Prisons


Cities and towns from coast to coast are straining under the weight of budget shortfalls, so what are they to do? Lay off essential public employees and replace them with slave labor by prisoners — it’s what Camden County, Georgia is doing in regards to firefighters. Will the next step be unpaid prisoners teaching your kids?


ShivI’ve also heard them called shanks, the word itself, “shiv” or “shank,” intuitively sounds like their intended use, further relayed with these photos from this article by William Drenttel in Design Observer:

A shiv is a weapon crafted from the limited resources of a prisoner’s closed world. Crudely constructed from such things as spoons, shoelaces and upholstery tacks, shivs lie somewhere between the graceful and the grotesque. They’re primitive, too — like outsider art, but produced deep on the inside.

The individual parts that make up a shiv tend to be everyday objects, innocent things furtively reconstituted as lethal weapons. Each design choice is essential, but what’s particularly notable is that shivs, at their core, are not so much evocations of minimalism as they are symbols of survivalism. A shiv is all about masked utility: it’s an innocuous object with improbably toxic intent (whether used to attack others or to protect oneself…)



Architecture and design made specifically to control and easily subdue populations is nothing new; architects and urban planners have long recognised the inherent ability of design to affect mood, temperament, and even…



ap_Mark_Ciavarella_nt_110818_wgPennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella jailed teenagers for minor offenses (e.g. satirizing a teacher on Myspace) in return for over $1 million in kickbacks from the area’s for-profit youth prison. Mother Sandy Fonzo alleges that Judge Ciavarella is only “the tip of the iceberg” in a practice that is occurring across the country. Fonzo’s star-wrestler son, whom Ciavarella sentenced, committed suicide after spending six months imprisoned among violent offenders as punishment for being caught with a marijuana pipe. In her words, “Judge Ciavarella is proof that for-profit incarceration cannot happen.”

The Kids For Cash scandal involved more than 30 state and local government officials and contractors, says ABC News.



Curious as to what sort of art one makes when experiencing sensory deprivation halfway around the world? Since the beginning of the Obama presidency, inmates at Guantanamo Bay have been given art…






Good Magazine looks at the similarity between prison meals and children’s school cafeteria food — both rich in starch-y/milk-y goodness, and costing around $2.65 per day to provide. It should also be…


This powerful animated video exposes how our immigrant community is being sold to private prisons for obscene profits.

Top three facts to know about private prisons (via immigrantsforsale.org):

  1. The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night…

Amy Dusto writes on Discovery News:

Prison guards could soon stop fights with a harmless tool that shoots a laser-like beam, video game-style, down into a room where trouble is brewing. The Assault Intervention Device (AID), funded by the National Institute of Justice, is still large and unrefined but will soon be installed for trial in at least one prison, the Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles County.

The AID directs an energy beam, which is in the invisible millimeter wavelength, that penetrates just deep enough beneath the skin to make the target’s pain receptors shout. The sensation is a burn like touching a hot stove or an iron. It only lasts up to 3 seconds — the AID controls automatically shut the beam off to prevent shooting for longer without resetting the trigger finger. The beam can hit a target about 100 feet away, and is about as wide as a CD.

According to Raytheon, the device’s manufacturers, it causes no actual damage to nerves or skin. This video shows the sharp reflex caused by an AID hit, and the unscathed hit receivers.



As if beatings from wardens and guards weren’t bad enough… from Salon.com:

A device designed to control unruly inmates by blasting them with a beam of intense energy that causes a burning sensation is drawing heat from civil rights groups who fear it could cause serious injury and is “tantamount to torture.”

The mechanism, known as an “Assault Intervention Device,” is a stripped-down version of a military gadget…


Marshalsea PrisonAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

In modern times, the poorhouse isn’t the same Dickensian debtor’s prison of the 19th century — such a thing, even in its worst and most inhumane forms, would be considered a socialist abomination in Fox News’ America.

Today’s poorhouses and debtor’s prisons are individual cycles of one financial tragedy after another, where a lost job, bad decision or medical ailment follows us around for years or decades, creating new fiscal problems and perpetuating debt.

Most of the time, this follows us — from early adulthood to death — in the form of our credit score.


British comedian/actor Stephen Fry and his pals ham it up on British TV show ‘QI’, making some very salient points about the ridiculously high levels of incarceration in the United States. You might think they are being anti-American, but listen more carefully: they are actually anti-human rights abuses.


SchwarzeneggerKevin Yamamura writes on the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday offered yet another way California can save on incarcerating illegal immigrants: pay to build prisons in Mexico.

Schwarzenegger said in a Sacramento Press Club speech that rather than raise taxes, the state could find money by cutting pension costs, allowing offshore oil drilling and lowering prison expenditures.

His budget calls for an $880 million infusion from the federal government to pay for housing illegal immigrant prisoners who have committed crimes in California. The governor also wants to rely more on private prison companies.


Low on cash with lots of time on your hands? Tired of being sober all the time?
via Brokelyn

skimcrap

Here’s one worth a try: making some good old, 25-to-life, brewed-in-a-bag prison wine.

Brewing at home usually requires a pricey set-up and lots of time—usually just enough to scare off the casual brewer. Prison wine, or “pruno” does not. The stuff’s been made since the dawn of law enforcement and comes from the even older tradition of home brewing. Pruno can be made from almost anything, but it relies on the simple brewing principle that sugar + yeast + time = alcohol.

Traditionally, oranges and grapes are the preferred sugar in the equation, and moldy bread is the yeast (given that yeast packets probably aren’t sold at the prison commissary). But we’d rather not poison anyone with home-made botulism, so we’ll use the store-bought stuff, since we can go out and all. Also, since the genuine issue pruno generally is brewed on the DL, conditions are far from sanitary. We’ve added a few steps to replace just dumping everything into a trash bag and letting it molder under the bed. So, follow our advice, use the recipe below, and you’ll be imibing like a con in under a week.

Ingredients

10-12 oranges (or in a pinch, other sweet items you have around, like grape jelly or cake frosting)
1 large can of fruit cocktail (for a nice finishing flavor)
1 packet of dried yeast
3 cups of sugar
1 one-gallon plastic bag with strong seal