Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Prisons Abroad

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Courtesy of Stephen Hartnett:

For those of you thinking globally, check out Randal C. Archibold’s expose, “Inmate’s Lament: Rather Be Dead Than Here,” NYT (3.14.2012, p. 1), where he chronicles the devastating over-crowding of prisons in Latin America.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crashing the System

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Here's a provocative meditation by legal scholar Michelle Alexander on the potentially insurrectionary implications of people exercising their constitutional rights. It's well worth the read.

Alexander's newest book, The New Jim Crow, is proving to be a hugely influential contribution to the corpus of prison activist literature. Our very own Megan Bernard reviewed it a few months back.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Corrections Corp. of America offers to buy and privatize state prisons

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Last week's revelation that Corrections Corp. of America is offering to buy and privatize the prisons of fiscally struggling states fills me with foreboding. In order for private prison corporations to be profitable, they must remain full (CCA reportedly told shareholders in 2010 that profits could be adversely affected by sentencing leniency...). Privatization not only provides state governments with an incentive to keep the prisons full; it also reduces accountability, putting the fates of the incarcerated behind an information firewall even more resistant to monitoring or oversight than the state apparatus, if that is possible. And despite claims that privatization will reduce costs, in many states it has been shown to increase the cost of incarceration.

Sarcastic spoof page from Thousand Kites Project

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Sad but true...Commenting on the recent news that CCA is offering cash-hungry states money to buy their prisons and then house their prisoners within.