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Prisons Corruption News Articles
Excerpts of key news articles on prisons corruption


Below are key excerpts of little-known, yet highly revealing news articles on prisons corruption from the major media. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These articles on prisons corruption are listed by order of importance. You can also explore them ordered by the date of the article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves, we can build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


We Could All Be in the Circle
2020-04-17, PsychCentral
https://psychcentral.com/lib/we-could-all-be-in-the-circle-how-adverse-childh...

When we think about people who are behind bars for crimes simple or heinous, our minds take us to a place of judgment. We may view inmates as less than: less intelligent, less successful, less worthy of love and support. We may see them as “other.” The reality is, we may all be a few experiences away from potentially committing a crime. A video that poignantly highlights the dynamics that could lead to incarceration is called Step Inside the Circle. It begins with a group of 235 men in blue uniforms in a yard of a maximum-security prison. Barbed wire and guards surround them. They tower over a petite blond woman wearing a black and white t-shirt that says There Is No Shame. She carries a megaphone through which she invites them to step inside the circle if they have experienced verbal or physical abuse and neglect, if they lived in a home without feeling loved, if they had given up on themselves. One by one and then in multitudes, they join Fritzi Horstman as together they chant “There is no shame,” over and over. A group of them move indoors and sit in a circle of chairs with Horstman admitting her own wounds that led to criminal activity. That opened the door for the participants to describe the wounds they have carried for much of their lives. [The] men were visibly moved, some wiping their eyes, some providing brotherly support and admitted that they were breaking the code by being vulnerable. They discovered that it was a unifying experience and they felt less isolated as a result.

Note: Two short, incredibly inspiring documentaries show how these inmates' lives have been transformed. Don't miss "Step Inside the Circle" (7 min) and "Honor Yard" (8 min).


Surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein's first apparent suicide attempt 'no longer exists'
2020-01-09, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/surveillance-video-jeffrey-epstein-s-fir...

The surveillance video taken from outside Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell on the day of his first apparent suicide attempt has been permanently deleted, federal prosecutors said. Epstein, the disgraced financier who was facing federal sex-trafficking charges, was found semiconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, in New York around 1:27 a.m. on July 23. But that video is now gone because MCC officials mistakenly saved video from a different floor of the federal detention facility. The FBI made the discovery last week while reviewing a copy of the video provided by MCC officials. "After reviewing the video, it appeared to the government that the footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier than the one where [the cell housing Epstein and his cellmate] was located.” The filing was made in a case involving Nicholas Tartaglione ... who was Epstein's cellmate on the day of the incident. The July incident was investigated as a possible suicide attempt, assault or ruse by Epstein to get himself transferred to a different facility. Tartaglione's attorney, as part of an effort to exonerate his client, asked the jail to preserve video from outside the cell. The MCC agreed, but "the MCC computer system listed a different, incorrect cell for Tartaglione," prosecutors said in the court filing. A backup video system was in place, but the requested video wasn't available because of unspecified "technical errors," the court filing says.

Note: Just a little bit suspicious... For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


US taxpayers spent almost $1 billion incarcerating innocent black people
2019-11-20, Yahoo! News
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-taxpayers-spent-over-4-billion-incarceratin...

Over the last few weeks, the Rodney Reed case has ignited a firestorm of interest, as celebrities, activists, and politicians worked to delay his Nov. 20 execution on the basis that he might be innocent. According to the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), since 1989, 2,515 men and women have been exonerated after proving their innocence. In total, among all known exonerees, Americans have shelled out a staggering $4.12 billion to incarcerate innocent men and women since 1989. That’s largely money spent on trials, and the cost of housing inmates in prison. According to the Bureau of Prisons, in the fiscal year 2017, the average cost to house a prisoner was over $36,000 a year in federal facilities. But black men make up the majority of those wrongfully convicted — approximately 49%. And since 1989, taxpayers have wasted $944 million to incarcerate black men and women that were later found to be innocent. That number climbs to $1.2 billion when including Hispanic men and women. On average, from the time a person enters the criminal justice system until they are exonerated, $1.26 million is spent per inmate who is facing the death penalty. The total sum — $4.12 billion spent on all known exonerees — also includes $2.2 billion that taxpayers have paid the innocent in compensation since 1989 for the time they were imprisoned, according to a 2018 NRE study. But while a large sum, only 44% of exonerees have ever received compensation.

Note: Read also how thousands have been sentenced to life in prison for non-violent crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


60 Minutes investigates the death of Jeffrey Epstein
2020-01-05, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-jeffrey-epstein-kill-himself-60-minutes-inve...

In July 2019, Jeffrey Epstein, already a convicted sex offender, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors. On August 10, Epstein was found dead in his federal jail cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging, but a forensic pathologist who observed the four-hour autopsy ... tells 60 Minutes the evidence released so far points more to murder than suicide in his view. Dr. Michael Baden's key reason: the unusual fractures he saw in Epstein's neck."There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone," Baden said. "I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging." The night before his death, Epstein's cellmate was released. According to court documents, "no new cellmate was assigned" before he died, even though he was required to have one. That night, federal prosecutors say, "Epstein was escorted into his cell by Tova Noel at approximately 7:49 p.m." Noel and Michael Thomas, the two guards who were working the overnight shift in Epstein's unit, allegedly didn't check on him again until "shortly after 6:30 a.m." the next morning. "So Epstein's taken off suicide watch, the day before he kills himself, his roommate is removed from the cell. The cameras on his tier are not working. The guards fell asleep. It seems almost impossible to think all of those things could happen in that way," [60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn] Alfonsi said.

Note: Not mentioned is that surveillance video from Epstein's first suicide attempt was "accidentally" erased, as reported on NBC News. A revealing five-minute 60 minutes video is available here or at the link above. More photos and information are available on this CBS News webpage. An even deeper analysis can be found on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Dutch justice? Falling crime rates and prison closures
2016-10-17, DutchNews.nl
http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2016/10/falling-crime-rates-and-prison-closu...

The closure of five prisons in as many years against the background of a falling crime rate, is the kind of news many governments would give their eye teeth for. The impact could have been even more dramatic if the government had adopted the recommendations of a prison service report published in July, which concluded that eight jails and three youth detention centres will be surplus to requirements by the year 2021. The official figures indicate that recorded crime has been falling for around a decade. Between 2014 and 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, recorded crime was down by nearly 5%, according to national statistics office CBS. In total, recorded crime has shrunk by 25% over the past eight years. Crime figures [have] been falling in nearly all western nations this century, but the decline in the Dutch prison population has been spectacular. In 2006 the Netherlands had the second highest number of inmates in Europe with 125 prisoners per 100,000 population. Only the UK, with 145, had a larger share. But by last year the Dutch were down to Scandinavian levels, with 69 out of every 100,000 citizens behind bars. The government says prison closures are inevitable because it costs too much to keep empty cells open. Official forecasts predict that the downward trend in crime will continue, though how far the fall reflects an actual drop in criminal behaviour remains a hotly contested issue.

Note: Few are aware that violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped to 1/3 of what they were in 1993, yet prison spending continues to skyrocket. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


How the 13th Amendment didn’t really abolish slavery, but let it live on in U.S. prisons
2016-09-21, New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-13th-amendment-didn-abolish-sla...

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution did not end slavery. In fact, it is the first time the word "slavery" was ever mentioned in the Constitution and it is in this amendment where it is ... given the constitutional protection that has maintained the practice of American slavery in various forms to this very day. It is why, right now, the largest prison strike in American history is about to enter its third week - the men and women inside of those prisons are effectively slaves. Their free or nearly free labor represents, according to Alice Speri, “a $2 billion a year industry that employs nearly 900,000 prisoners while paying them a few cents an hour in some states, and nothing at all in others. “In addition to work for private companies, prisoners also cook, clean, and work on maintenance and construction in the prisons themselves — forcing officials to pay staff to carry out those tasks in response to work stoppages. ‘They cannot run these facilities without us,’ organizers wrote ahead of the strike. ‘We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.’” The entire 13th Amendment ... is just 47 words long. About a third of those words aren't about ending slavery, but are shockingly about how and when slavery could receive a wink and a nod to continue. In essence, the 13th Amendment both banned and justified slavery in one fell swoop. Slavery is legal in prisons.

Note: It's strange to note that very few major media have given any coverage to this important story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system.


Why is Sweden closing its prisons?
2013-12-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/01/why-sweden-closing-prisons

Swedish prisons have long had a reputation around the world as being liberal and progressive. The head of Sweden's prison and probation service, Nils Oberg, announced in November that four Swedish prisons are to be closed due to an "out of the ordinary" decline in prisoner numbers. Although there has been no fall in crime rates, between 2011 and 2012 there was a 6% drop in Sweden's prisoner population, now a little over 4,500. A similar decrease is expected this year and the next. The Swedes [have] managed to maintain a broadly humane approach to sentencing, even of the most serious offenders: jail terms rarely exceed 10 years; those who receive life imprisonment can still apply to the courts after a decade to have the sentence commuted to a fixed term, usually in the region of 18 to 25 years. Sweden was the first country in Europe to introduce the electronic tagging of convicted criminals and continues to strive to minimise short-term prison sentences wherever possible by using community-based measures – proven to be more effective at reducing reoffending. The overall reoffending rate in Sweden stands at between 30 and 40% over three years – around half that in the UK. One likely factor that has kept reoffending down and the rate of incarceration in Sweden below 70 per 100,000 head of population – less than half the figure for England and Wales – is that the age of criminal responsibility is set at 15. Unlike the UK, where a life sentence can be handed down to a 10-year-old, in Sweden no young person under the age of 21 can be sentenced to life and every effort is made to ensure that as few juvenile offenders as possible end up in prison.

Note: For a Time magazine article showing how Norway's prisons actually rehabilitate prisoners so that they can more easily fit back in society, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


America's private prison system is a national disgrace
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/13/aclu-lawsuit-east-mississ...

Privatization [of government functions] often comes with a lack of oversight and a series of abuses. One particularly stunning example is the American prison system, the realities of which should be a national disgrace. Some of those realities are highlighted in a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF). EMCF houses severely mentally ill prisoners, with the supposed intent of providing both incarceration and treatment. Instead, the ACLU contends, the facility, which is operated by private contractors, is rife with horrific abuses. The complaint lists a litany of such horrors, [including]: Rampant rapes. Placing prisoners in solitary confinement for weeks, months or even years at a time. Rat infestations so bad that vermin crawl over prisoners. Many suicide attempts, some successful. Denying or delaying treatment for infections and even cancer. Stabbings, beatings and other acts of violence. Malnourishment and chronic hunger. Officers who deal with prisoners by using physical violence. The [US] prison system is increasingly built and run by for-profit corporations, who have a financial interest in increasing the number of people in prison while decreasing the amount of money it costs to house them. Since 1980, the US prison population has grown by 790%. We have the largest prison population of any nation in the history of the world.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption and human rights abuses in prisons, click here.


Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
2013-01-06, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-cri...

Most modern justice systems focus on a crime, a lawbreaker and a punishment. But a concept called “restorative justice” considers harm done and strives for agreement from all concerned — the victims, the offender and the community — on making amends. And it allows victims, who often feel shut out of the prosecutorial process, a way to be heard and participate. In this country, restorative justice takes a number of forms, but perhaps the most prominent is restorative-justice diversion. There are not many of these programs — a few exist on the margins of the justice system in communities like Baltimore, Minneapolis and Oakland, Calif. — but, according to a University of Pennsylvania study in 2007, they have been effective at reducing recidivism. Typically, a facilitator meets separately with the accused and the victim, and if both are willing to meet face to face without animosity and the offender is deemed willing and able to complete restitution, then the case shifts out of the adversarial legal system and into a parallel restorative-justice process. All parties — the offender, victim, facilitator and law enforcement — come together in a forum sometimes called a restorative-community conference. Each person speaks, one at a time and without interruption, about the crime and its effects, and the participants come to a consensus about how to repair the harm done. The methods are mostly applied in less serious crimes, like property offenses in which the wrong can be clearly righted. The processes are designed to be flexible enough to handle violent crime like assault, but they are rarely used in those situations.

Note: This deeply moving and highly educational piece from the New York Times Magazine about the power of restorative justice is well worth reading in its entirety at the link above.


Breaking the hold of corporate welfare on America's incarceration industry
2012-12-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/19/corporate-welfare-incarce...

The US Department of Justice released a report this week showing that 26 states have recorded decreases in their prison populations during 2011. California boasted the biggest decline of over 15,000 prisoners and several other states including New York and Michigan reported drops of around 1,000 prisoners each. This is the third consecutive year that the population has declined, and as a result, at least six states have closed or are attempting to close approximately 20 prisons. But sadly, because incarceration has become a virtual jobs program in many states and because certain corporations are profiting handsomely from the incarceration binge that has been in place for the past few decades, the reduction in prison populations and prison closures is being met with huge resistance. According to a recent report by the Sentencing Project called On the Chopping Block (pdf), which detailed all the prison closures and attempted closures in the past year, several state governors have been dragged into legal battles with state employees and unions who want the prisons to stay open. The private prisons, which are funded by the taxpayer ... need to generate revenue to keep their shareholders happy. For them, the bottom line is keeping their prisons full, regardless of need or cost. Last year, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) came under fire when it emerged that they sent a letter to 48 states offering to take over any prisons going spare – with the small caveat that they be guaranteed 90% occupancy for the next 20 years.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the prison/industrial complex, click here.


Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world's most controversial prison
2011-04-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/25/guantanamo-files-lift-lid-prison

More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America's controversial prison camp in Cuba. The US military dossiers ... reveal how ... many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment. The 759 Guantánamo files, classified "secret", cover almost every inmate since the camp was opened in 2002. More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still held there. The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence. Among inmates who proved harmless were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim. The documents also reveal: • US authorities listed the main Pakistani intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), as a terrorist organisation. • Almost 100 of the inmates who passed through Guantánamo are listed by their captors as having had depressive or psychotic illnesses. Many went on hunger strike or attempted suicide. • A number of British nationals and residents were held for years even though US authorities knew they were not Taliban or al-Qaida members.

Note: For many key reports on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.


Report Details Torture at Secret Baghdad Prison
2010-04-28, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/world/middleeast/28baghdad.html

The torture of Iraqi detainees at a secret prison in Baghdad was far more systematic and brutal than initially reported, Human Rights Watch reported. Human Rights Watch ... documented its findings, which it described as “credible and consistent,” in a draft report provided to The New York Times. The group said it had interviewed 42 detainees who displayed fresh scars and wounds. Many said they were raped, sodomized with broomsticks and pistol barrels, or forced to engage in sexual acts with one another and their jailers. All said they were tortured by being hung upside down and then whipped and kicked before being suffocated with a plastic bag. Those who passed out were revived, they said, with electric shocks to their genitals and other parts of their bodies. “The horror we found suggests torture was the norm in Muthanna,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East program at Human Rights Watch. “Security officials whipped detainees with heavy cables, pulled out finger and toenails, burned them with acid and cigarettes, and smashed their teeth,” Human Rights Watch said.

Note: For more on the atrocities committed by the US and its recent wars, click here.


Man who was serving 90-year sentence for marijuana released
2020-12-10, ABC News/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/man-serving-90-year-sentence-marijuana-re...

While serving a 90-year prison sentence for selling marijuana, Richard DeLisi's wife died, as did his 23-year-old son and both his parents. Yet, 71-year-old DeLisi walked out of a Florida prison Tuesday morning grateful and unresentful as he hugged his tearful family. After serving 31 years, he said he's just eager to restore the lost time. DeLisi was believed to be the longest-serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner, according to the The Last Prisoner Project which championed his release. DeLisi was sentenced to 90 years for marijuana trafficking in 1989 at the age of 40 even though the typical sentence was only 12 to 17 years. Now, he wants "to make the best of every bit of my time" fighting for the release of other inmates through his organization FreeDeLisi.com. "The system needs to change and I'm going to try my best to be an activist," he said. Chiara Juster, a former Florida prosecutor who handled the case pro bono for the The Last Prisoner Project, criticized DeLisi's lengthy sentence as "a sick indictment of our nation." The family has spent over $250,000 on attorneys' fees and over $80,000 on long-distance international collect calls over the past few decades. Rick DeLisi was only 11-years-old when he sat in the courtroom and said goodbye to his father. Now, he's a successful business owner with a wife and three children living in Amsterdam. "I can't believe they did this to my father," the grieving son said. His voice cracks and his eyes well up with tears as he talks about how grateful he is to finally see his dad.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons
2019-12-31, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/many-families-struggle-pay-phone-calls-l...

“You have 60 more seconds." "You have 30 more seconds.” The female voice interrupted each time Maria Marshall talked on the phone with her son in prison. But the chance to make contact for three or four minutes a day, a few days a week, came with a cost. Marshall spent $120 in just two weeks in July for her son to call her and other relatives and friends. Many states make millions each year in commission off phone calls that families like Marshall’s struggle to pay for. Inmate calling services are controlled by two main telecommunications companies, but the Federal Communications Commission says it does not have authority to set price caps on intrastate calls, which account for a majority of prisoner phone calls. Some are now pushing for change. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and five other senators have introduced a bill calling for “just and reasonable charges” for intrastate and interstate calling that would give the FCC authority to address inmate calling rates. “This allows the FCC to regulate and say you can’t have predatory pricing,” Duckworth said. “Cause that’s what’s happening — predatory pricing.” A typical 15-minute prison phone call within Washington costs around $1.65. On the other end of the spectrum, such a call in Kentucky costs around $5.70. Paul Wright, director of the Human Rights Defense Center ... said the system gives prisoners no options. “The alternative is they don’t talk to their family,” Wright, who was incarcerated in Washington from 1987 to 2003, said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US
2019-12-22, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/12/19/ice-asylum-under-tru...

On Oct. 15, a guard at the Richwood Correctional Center noticed an odd smell coming from one of the isolation cells. He opened the door, stepped inside and found the lifeless body of Roylan Hernandez-Diaz. The 43-year-old Cuban man had spent five months in immigration detention waiting for a judge to hear his asylum claim. The day after his death, 20 other detainees carried out what they say was a peaceful protest. Guards swooped in and attacked, beating one of them so severely he was taken to a hospital. The USA TODAY Network uncovered the Richwood episode during an investigation of the rapidly growing network of detention centers used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The investigation revealed more than 400 allegations of sexual assault or abuse, inadequate medical care, regular hunger strikes, frequent use of solitary confinement, more than 800 instances of physical force against detainees, nearly 20,000 grievances filed by detainees and at least 29 fatalities, including seven suicides, since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017 and launched an overhaul of U.S. immigration policies. Combined with an analysis by a government watchdog, the USA TODAY Network analyzed inspection reports since 2015 and identified 15,821 violations of detention standards. Yet more than 90% of those facilities received passing grades by government inspectors. Every detainee interviewed by the USA TODAY Network alleged mistreatment by guards.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system from reliable major media sources.


The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison
2015-03-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/magazine/the-radical-humaneness-of-norways...

The turnoff to Norway’s newest prison was marked by a modest sign. There were no signs warning against picking up hitchhikers, no visible fences. Halden Fengsel ... is often called the world’s most humane maximum-security prison. To anyone familiar with the American correctional system, Halden seems alien. Its modern, cheerful and well-­appointed facilities, the relative freedom of movement it offers, its quiet and peaceful atmosphere — these qualities are so out of sync with the forms of imprisonment found in the United States that you could be forgiven for doubting whether Halden is a prison at all. It is, of course, but it is also ... the physical expression of an entire national philosophy about the relative merits of punishment and forgiveness. The treatment of inmates at Halden is wholly focused on helping to prepare them for a life after they get out. Not only is there no death penalty in Norway; there are no life sentences. Norwegian Correctional Service ... works with other government agencies to secure a home, a job and access to a supportive social network for each inmate before release; Norway’s social safety net also provides health care, education and a pension to all citizens. If inmates are having problems with one another, an officer or prison chaplain brings them together for a mediation session that continues until they have agreed to maintain peace and have shaken hands. Even members of rival gangs agree not to fight inside.

Note: Watch a great, short video on this model prison.


Crime Is Down, Yet U.S. Incarceration Rates Are Still Among the Highest in the World
2019-04-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/us-mass-incarceration-rate.html

For all the talk of curbing America’s appetite for mass incarceration and bipartisan support for reducing prison sentences, the number of people incarcerated in the United States declined only slightly in 2017, according to data released on Thursday by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. The United States still has the largest known incarcerated population in the world. A drop in the federal prison population, due in large part to a 2014 decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce sentences for drug crimes, accounts for a third of the year-over-year decline. And while some states have significantly reduced their prison populations in recent years, others continue to set records for the number of people they are keeping locked up. The size of the United States prison population has resulted from not only locking more people up, but also keeping them locked up longer. A record number of people are serving life sentences. In fact, while the United States accounts for about 4 percent of the world’s population, it has more than a third of the estimated number of people serving life sentences. As measures like parole and compassionate release have been curtailed, or even eliminated in some places, prisoners have become older and more costly. According to the report, more than one in 10 prison inmates in 2017 were 55 years or older. The racial disparity among men remains stark, with black men serving prison sentences at almost six times the rate of white men.

Note: The privatized prison-industrial complex brings huge profits to key individuals. And the media hardly mentions FBI statistics showing violent crime has dropped to 1/3 or less of what it was 25 years ago. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the incarceration industry.


Could yoga save prisoners from a life of crime?
2018-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/11/yoga-prisons-crime-cut-reoffe...

New research shows the meditative exercise improves mental health, reduces stress and can prevent reoffending. The power of yoga to change [a prisoner's] life is backed by two Swedish studies that found it may reduce reoffending. The new study, led by Professor Nóra Kerekes at University West, Trollhätten, in Sweden, and published last week in Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that 10 weeks of regular yoga can lead to a significant reduction in obsessive-compulsive and paranoid thinking, which in turn, say researchers, can make reoffending less likely. This effect is specific to yoga, and not to exercise in general, they found. It can also lead to a decrease in “somaticisation” (mental distress leading to physical symptoms such as breathing problems, heart pains and stomach upsets). The study of 152 volunteers in nine medium- and high-security prisons in Sweden builds on a 2017 study of the same volunteers that showed that yoga improved stress levels, concentration, sleep quality, psychological and emotional wellbeing, as well as reducing aggression and antisocial behaviour. A Prison Service spokeswoman says: “Research shows activities like this can make prisoners less likely to reoffend, keeping the public safer.” She was unable to explain why, given this evidence, it wasn’t government policy to make yoga available to all prisoners, but said it was up to individual prison governors to decide which activities to offer.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Shane Bauer goes back to prison, comes out with a new book
2018-10-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/shane-bauer-goes-back-to-prison-comes-...

Imprisoned himself for two years in an Iranian prison after being arrested while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border in 2009, [Journalist Shane] Bauer returned to the United States in 2011 and began examining the inhumane practice of long-term solitary confinement. When he realized that America’s growing private-prison industry (which houses 8 percent of all inmates) was even more impenetrable to reporters than public institutions, Bauer decided to embark on an undercover reporting experiment to better understand the ethically confounding state of corporate incarceration. Using his own name, he applied and was hired as an entry-level, $9-hour guard at Winn Correctional Center in rural Wingfield, La. “Am I really going back to prison?” he writes in the introduction to his eye-opening and troubling new book, “American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment.” Bauer’s book is a searing indictment of the corruption and cruelty rampant in a system with post-slavery origins that is based not on rehabilitation but profitability. "It’s important to not take the kind of prison system we have today as a given. It was something that was invented here in this country, has floundered many times, and part of what has kept it alive throughout American history is that companies and states were making money on their prisoners, not because it was necessarily keeping society safe or rehabilitating people," [said Bauer].

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why are there so few prisoners in the Netherlands?
2019-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/12/why-are-there-so-few-prisoners-...

When Stefan Koning, who has a history of psychosis, was found guilty of threatening a stranger with a knife, a long custodial sentence might have felt like the only answer. In fact, after a short spell in jail, he is back at his home in Amsterdam. Koning is a beneficiary of a growing tendency in the Netherlands to avoid jailing people unless it is necessary. One key aspect of this is a prodigious programme of care in the community for people with psychiatric problems. “We work on two aims: number one, preventing another crime, and then on psychiatric suffering and the social problems that come with it,” says Hommo Folkerts, [an] outreach worker who helps Koning. Today plummeting prison sentences have left the Netherlands with an unusual problem: it doesn’t have enough inmates to fill its prisons. Since 2014, 23 prisons have been shut, turning into temporary asylum centres, housing and hotels. The country has Europe’s third-lowest incarceration rate, at 54.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the justice ministry’s WODC Research and Documentation Centre, the number of prison sentences imposed fell from 42,000 in 2008 to 31,000 in 2018 – along with a two-thirds drop in jail terms for young offenders. Registered crimes plummeted by 40% in the same period, to 785,000 in 2018. There is also a ... rehabilitation programme known as TBS. There were 1,300 people detained with a TBS ruling in 2018: people stay in a treatment centre, sometimes after a jail term, and are treated for ... psychological conditions.

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