For people who claim to be invested in justice, liberals sure do love threatening people with prison.
Thousands of British prisoners are still incarcerated under the abolished Imprisonment for Public Protection policy. Why hasn’t the government acted?
Though debtor’s prisons are supposed to be illegal, a growing number of US citizens are being trapped in cycles of debt that lead them to prison. So are immigrants, and it’s a problem that’s not going away.
The 13th Amendment allows the United States to sentence people to ‘involuntary servitude’ for the ‘commission of a crime,’ effectively licensing states to enslave their citizens. Aside from being unjust, this is contributing to growing incarceration rates.
In 2011, the Supreme Court intervened in California’s increasingly dangerous prison system. Ruling 5-4, the court determined that conditions inside California’s prisons were unconstitutional, a violation of the eighth amendment that needed to be rectified by rapidly bringing prison populations down. In practice, this worked out into prison realignment—shifting many prisoners to jails, and also […]
California has an estimated 4,000 prisoners working within Cal Fire on the frontlines of wildfires — taking on one of the most dangerous careers in the United States. Those 4,000 ‘volunteers’ earn a whopping $1 an hour when they’re out in the field, and a generous $1.45-$3.90 daily during training. The Bureau of Labour Statistics […]
Have you heard the story of Annie Dookhan? She used to be a state chemist in Massachusetts, responsible for testing over 40,000 samples over the course of her career. Her coworkers noted that it was physically impossible for her to test so many samples, that she misrepresented herself on the witness stand, that she falsified […]
For a brief and glorious period in the United States, the death penalty was illegal. Between 1972 and 1976, this barbarous and horrific punishment was suspended under Supreme Court mandate — but once it was restored, a number of states quickly started the ball rolling on murdering people in the name of the people yet […]
The media do love prison riots. When they involve anything more than a handful of prisoners, they make national headlines, with salacious and detailed discussion about their setting and nature, because everyone loves a good prison riot. It fits so well within the pop culture context of prisons and what prison life is like, and […]
One of my favourite tasks when I worked at a bookstore was perhaps one of the most mundane: Preparing books to mail to prisoners. Sending printed material to prisons is a rather exacting and precise task, requiring more fiddling than you might know, and if you don’t do it right, the prison can and will […]