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Tag: corrections officers

Torture in Corcoran: Endless lockdown and gladiator fights, again

Prisoners in 3C Unit at the state prison in Corcoran, California, who went on hunger strike in January are speaking out after the warden backed out of negotiations to end a months-long lockdown and violence orchestrated by prison officials. Family members and supporters gathered outside the prison on Feb. 9 and 10 to protest during what would have been visitation hours.

Delaware returns to death penalty debate after prison uprising

Just after 10 a.m. EDT on Feb. 1, a group of inmates took four staff hostage as they seized control of Building C at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, with 120 prisoners inside. By the end of the 18-hour standoff, Sgt. Steven Floyd Sr. was dead. Republican Rep. Steve Smyk, who had planned to support a bill to reinstate capital punishment, says he thinks the uprising has given some state lawmakers who initially opposed the death penalty a new outlook.

Prison abolition is overdue

On March 4, I heard Angela Davis speak at the Beyond the Bars: Connecting the Struggles conference, which was held at Columbia University. Davis’ speech focused on the necessary abolition of the criminal justice system, specifically incarceration. As Davis spoke, I flicked through the mental photographs of Black men and women locked in cages. The story of Jamycheal Mitchell came to mind.

Rev. Pinkney: I believe Berrien County officials have put a hit...

A heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon me. On Oct. 6, 2015, I was transferred back to Marquette Branch Prison, a two-day ride on the bus, shackled, mistreated and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing and inadequate medical care which violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Prisoners report on San Quentin health crisis: Legionella outbreak prompts water...

On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, government officials and first responders continue to lack the ability to plan for emergency situations. San Quentin State Prison, California’s oldest prison, is still on a virtual lockdown – or “modified program” – as normal programs for all inmates have ceased since Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, after “one confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease” was discovered, Warden Ron Davis’ Aug. 27 bulletin said.

We must leave the crops in the field

We have an opportunity to confront ourselves realistically, to have a stake in a real opportunity for freedom. The only way we can have an impact on the system is to make their oppression of us a financial burden that diminishes their profits rather than increases them. If they use the profits from your labor to write laws to keep you in prison, what does it profit you to work for them? If they intend for you to rot away in a cell, then let their crops rot away in the fields!

Hundreds of South Carolina prisoners sent to solitary confinement over Facebook

In the South Carolina prison system, accessing Facebook is an offense on par with murder, rape, rioting, escape and hostage-taking. Back in 2012, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) made “Creating and/or Assisting With a Social Networking Site” a Level 1 offense, a category reserved for the most violent violations of prison conduct policies. It’s one of the most common Level 1 offense charges brought against inmates.

US Court of Appeals rules against Cat Johnson’s challenge to his...

Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson continues his fight for freedom. He is an innocent man serving a sentence of life imprisonment. In Pennsylvania a life sentence means just that. There is no parole, no release until you are carried out feet first or win a reversal of your conviction. And even then the struggle is to definitively defeat the prosecution’s unceasing efforts to reconvict and re-imprison.

Prison rape: Sexual torture

Prison is a lonely, dark, cruel reality where you immediately become trapped in a time warp on one of the many modern day plantations that have sprung up like trees across America. In 2008, shortly after Hurricane Gustav ripped through several of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, a brutal sexual assault was being carried out by a sadistic corrections officer. I will conduct a sit-down with the victim of that violent act.

Solidarity and solitary: When unions clash with prison reform

The battle over the future of Tamms became the most visible and contentious example of a phenomenon seen around the country: Otherwise progressive unions are taking reactionary positions when it comes to prisons, supporting addiction to mass incarceration. And when it comes to issues of prisoners’ rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, they are seen as a major obstacle to reform.

First ever U.S. Senate hearing: Solitary confinement comes to Washington

“Solitary confinement does one thing: It breaks a man’s will to live and he ends up deteriorating,” testified Texas death row exoneree Anthony Graves before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tuesday, June19. The hearing, convened by Subcommittee Chair Sen. Richard Durbin, was the first of its kind at the federal level on the issue of solitary confinement.

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Reparations now! Pass HR 40!

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Spotlight: Kevin Cooper’s case exemplifies decades of systemic failures

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Heat-related conditions at the Allred Unit are cruel, unusual and a...

“Heat illness is a very serious matter in Texas prisons. I am a living witness to these conditions and many other unjust and cruel things that occur daily in Texas state prisons.”

It’s not ‘try to get justice’ no more; we WILL get...

When my feet first touched down in the streets of Ferguson, I felt connected suddenly, because I felt the pain of the people out there. I felt what was going on with them, and I did not want to leave.