Your Teen Is In Juvenile Detention: Here’s the Bill

There are two important things to understand about the prison system in the United States: it’s based on retributive justice, and it’s a for-profit enterprise. There’s a reason they refer to it as the ‘prison-industrial complex,’ because the whole system is designed to generate massive amounts of money for power players, including not just private […]

Do Some Prisoners Matter More Than Others?

When I get into conversations with people about prisoner rights, the conditions in US prison, and specific prison reform issues—like getting rid of solitary confinement and addressing the health care gap in prisons—there’s always a significant elephant in the room. On the surface, many self-identified progressives support prisoner rights, at the very least opposing the […]

Why Is the US Still Using Solitary Confinement?

Something rather astounding happened in 2011: prisoners went on strike, and people paid attention. A hunger strike over conditions in California prisons that started at Pelican Bay, the state’s notorious supermax facility infamous for its use of solitary confinement, spread across the state, attracting headlines and attention across the country. Not just in prison media, […]

Incarcerating Youth Shouldn’t Be A For-Profit Business

Incarcerating anyone shouldn’t be a for-profit business, strictly speaking, but the rising market in youth incarceration is particularly disturbing. As the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out in investigations conducted last year, there are some special concerns with incarcerated youth, and it’s disturbing to see the number of youth in prison on the rise. Particularly […]