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Prisons Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Prisons Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important prisons corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These prisons corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of prisons corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner
2019-09-16, New York Times
Posted: 2019-09-29 16:26:22
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/us/politics/guantanamo-bay-cost-prison.html

Holding the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess as the lone prisoner in Germany’s Spandau Prison in 1985 cost an estimated $1.5 million in today’s dollars. Then there is Guantánamo Bay, where the expense now works out to about $13 million for each of the 40 prisoners being held there. According to a tally by The New York Times, the total cost last year of holding the prisoners ... paying for the troops who guard them, running the war court and doing related construction, exceeded $540 million. The $13 million per prisoner cost almost certainly makes Guantánamo the world’s most expensive detention program. The military assigns around 1,800 troops to the detention center, or 45 for each prisoner. Judges, lawyers, journalists and support workers are flown in and out on weekly shuttles. The estimated annual cost of $540 million ... does not include expenses that have remained classified, presumably including a continued C.I.A. presence. But the figures show that running the range of facilities built up over the years has grown increasingly expensive even as the number of prisoners has declined. A Defense Department report in 2013 calculated the annual cost of operating Guantánamo Bay’s prison and court system at $454.1 million, or nearly $90 million less than last year. At the time, there were 166 prisoners at Guantánamo, making the per-prisoner cost $2.7 million. The 2013 report put the total cost of building and operating the prison since 2002 at $5.2 billion through 2014, a figure that now appears to have risen to past $7 billion.

Note: Read an article by a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, titled, "Will I Die At Guantanamo Bay? After 15 Years, I Deserve Justice." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


California bans private prisons – including Ice detention centers
2019-09-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-09-23 15:32:17
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/12/california-private-prison-ban...

The private prison industry is set to be upended after California lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday banning the facilities from operating in the state. The move will probably also close down four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to 4,500 people at a time. The legislation is being hailed as a major victory for criminal justice reform because it removes the profit motive from incarceration. It also marks a dramatic departure from California’s past, when private prisons were relied on to reduce crowding in state-run facilities. Private prison companies used to view California as one of their fastest-growing markets. As recently as 2016, private prisons locked up approximately 7,000 Californians, about 5% of the state’s total prison population, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. But in recent years, thousands of inmates have been transferred from private prisons back into state-run facilities. As of June, private prisons held 2,222 of California’s total inmate population. The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, must still sign AB32, but last year he signaled support for the ban and said during his inaugural speech in January that the state should “end the outrage of private prisons once and for all”. The bill’s author, the assemblymember Rob Bonta, originally wrote it only to apply to contracts between the state’s prison authority and private, for-profit prison companies. But in June, Bonta amended the bill to apply to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s four major California detention centers.

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


New York Could Become First State To Be Completely Done With Private Prisons
2019-06-18, Forbes
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:20:10
https://www.forbes.com/sites/morgansimon/2019/06/18/new-york-to-become-first-...

With many corporations having capitalizations that make them larger than countries, it can sometimes feel hard to imagine governments effectively being able to set limits on companies — let alone entire industries. One interesting exception to this rule is the private prison industry; where the government (given they are the largest client) is uniquely positioned to effectively regulate the sector — or, as many would argue, to eliminate private prisons entirely, given their problematic incentive to encourage the criminalization of vulnerable communities. New York State has been leading the way in flexing its muscles with respect to the private prison industry, having taken three concrete actions against private prisons: 1. prohibiting private prisons from operating within the state, 2. divesting state pension funds from the largest private prison companies, GEO Group and CoreCivic, and then just last week, 3. passing Bill S5433 in the State Senate, which would prohibit NY State-chartered banks from “investing in and providing financing to private prisons.” As Senator Benjamin noted in introducing the bill, in front of a Bank of America branch, “The goal is to starve private prisons of capital. My constituents do not put their hard-earned savings in a bank like the one we are standing in front of today expecting that those funds will be used to finance mass incarceration. Whether through organizing and community pressure, or tools like the bill I am announcing here today, we can and we must bring an end to private prisons.”

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


Do Prisons Make Us Safer?
2019-06-21, Scientific American
Posted: 2019-07-15 17:06:52
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-prisons-make-us-safer/

One person is sentenced to state or federal prison every 90 seconds in the United States, amounting to almost 420,000 per year. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. But how much safety does all this imprisonment actually buy us? A study I recently published with colleagues shows the answer is very little, especially in the long-term. The study found that sentencing someone to prison had no effect on their chances of being convicted of a violent crime within five years of being released from prison. This means that prison has no preventative effect on violence in the long term among people who might have been sentenced to probation. It also found a preventative ... effect in the short term, during the time when prisoners were still in prison, but this effect is smaller than we typically assume. Preventing one person who was previously convicted of a violent crime from committing a new violent crime within five years of their sentence requires imprisoning 16 such individuals. The short-term and small preventative effect of prison means those dollars could be better spent on other violence prevention or public safety strategies. The high costs of prison combined with concerns about the negative collateral consequences for prisoners, their families, and communities have prompted renewed efforts ... to reduce imprisonment. Yet despite the fact that over half of prison inmates were convicted of a violent crime, most criminal justice reforms exclude those with violent pasts.

Note: The above was written by David J. Harding, author of On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison corruption from reliable major media sources.


Why are so many people dying in US prisons and jails?
2019-05-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-06-09 18:50:05
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/26/us-prisons-jails-inmate-deaths

On 10 July 2015, 28-year-old Sandra Bland was pulled over in Prairie View, Texas, for what she was told by Texas state trooper Brian Encinia was failing to use her turn signal. Three days after Bland’s arrest, she was found dead in her jail cell. The death was ruled a suicide but remains shrouded in mystery over how a wrongful arrest stemming from a minor traffic violation resulted in death. Surges in the number of Americans dying while incarcerated have occurred against a backdrop of an increase in the US prison population by 500% over the last 40 years. Based on the latest national figures available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4,980 prisoners in US correctional facilities died in 2014, a nearly 3% increase from 2013. In state prisons, the mortality rate was 275 for every 100,000 people, the highest since data collection began in 2001. Since 2014, a Guardian investigation has found several states, including Texas and Florida, with the first and third highest prison populations in the US, respectively, have reported either record mortality rates in prisons or jails or significant surges. A 2017 report published by the Rand Corporation on identifying the needs to reduce prison mortality rates suggested several high-priority needs. “A national medical examiner system should be implemented because of the additional rigor these professionals have and more consistency with how they do investigations and classify cause of death,” said Joe Russo, the lead author of the report.

Note: Read an excellent article titled "How The For-Profit Prison Industry Keeps 460,000 Innocent People in Jail Every Day." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Crime Is Down, Yet U.S. Incarceration Rates Are Still Among the Highest in the World
2019-04-25, New York Times
Posted: 2019-05-06 16:33:36
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.


The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison
2015-03-26, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:13:45
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.


Leaked reports reveal severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners
2019-03-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-06 23:09:27
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/31/leaked-reports-reveal-abuse-sau...

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, according to leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman. The reports seem to provide the first documented evidence from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoners are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s denials that men and women in custody are being tortured. The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential pardon for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those with serious health problems. Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoners has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and lashings in custody. With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to the medical reports seen by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees suggest many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems. In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

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


A prison where the inmates have to go and find jobs
2019-02-04, BBC
Posted: 2019-03-04 13:43:33
https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-47093046

At Sanganer prison, in the Indian city of Jaipur, inmates get a roof over their head, but no money and no food. This prison has no bars or walls, no security guards at the gate, and prisoners are allowed - even encouraged - to go out into the city and work every day. This prison, which has been open since the 1950s, is home to 450 prisoners and is one of about 30 such institutions in the state of Rajasthan. I go to Sanganer with Smita Chakraburtty, the woman behind a campaign to make open prisons the norm across India. "The criminal justice system addresses an incident ... and doesn't know what to do with an individual," Chakraburtty argues. Her cause is gaining momentum: four other states in India established new open prisons last year. I sit on the floor in a children's nursery at the front of the prison grounds and talk with a group of men and women who are inmates. When I ask them why they're in prison, many simply say, "302," referring to Section 302 in India's Penal Code which dictates the punishment for murder. To get to Sanganer, they all have to have served at least two-thirds of their sentences in closed prisons. Every day, most of them leave the prison grounds to earn a living: men convicted of murder work as security guards, factory workers and daily labourers. I even meet one inmate who's a yoga instructor and another who's a supervisor in a nearby school. The only real rule, I'm told, is that prisoners must make roll call every evening.

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


Could yoga save prisoners from a life of crime?
2018-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-01-06 01:44:49
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.


Hope to those serving long prison sentences
2018-12-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-12-16 23:08:22
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Former-lifers-mentor-Ca...

[California] Gov. Jerry Brown has issued more than 1,100 pardons and commuted more than 150 sentences since taking office in 2011 - far more than have his recent predecessors. The governor’s intervention creates a new pathway to justice for people serving long prison sentences under some of the nation’s harshest sentencing laws. His action moves California away from the brutality of mass incarceration and toward a renewed focus on rehabilitation and redemption. I know well the power of hope in the darkness behind prison walls. In 2012, I was released after serving 24 years of a life sentence. Now I lead the Hope and Redemption Team, an initiative funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide rehabilitative programming inside seven state prisons. Our model is unique. Every member of our full-time staff is a former lifer who has served decades of time and is now a living example of redemption. Success stories rarely make the news, but I see them every day. Graduates of our program and job-readiness training offered by the Anti-Recidivism Coalition have earned their release and built careers in the building and construction trades, prison ministry, higher education, entertainment and tech. Trained in violence prevention, they go into juvenile halls and work with youth to break the cycle of incarceration before it begins. They are contributing to society and making communities stronger and safer - things that prison can never accomplish.

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


Alleged CIA leaker: Manhattan jail is worse than North Korea
2018-10-29, New York Post
Posted: 2018-11-05 02:17:19
https://nypost.com/2018/10/29/alleged-cia-leaker-manhattan-jail-is-worse-than...

An ex-CIA technician believed to be behind one of the worst leaks in agency history says the conditions at the federal jail in lower Manhattan are so bad that he’d rather be a prisoner in North Korea. Joshua Schulte ... described the Metropolitan Correctional Center as a living hell where inmates are “dragged from their cages and beaten and maced,” forced to bathe in “s–t-filled showers,” thrown into solitary confinement for no reason and improperly barred from communicating with their lawyers. “They even refuse us pens and stamps so we can’t even write,” Schulte told a judge in a letter that he says he was only able to write after he borrowed a pen from a medical assistant. The ex-CIA software engineer has been in the MCC since last year after the feds raided his New York apartment on suspicion that he had leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks. Immediately following the raid, he was ... charged with possession of kiddie porn. It wasn’t until this year that the feds slapped Schulte with a 13-count superseding indictment for leaking classified information, including national defense information, that he believed could be used “to the injury of the United States and the advantage of a foreign nation.” The MCC has been the target of numerous complaints in recent months. Reputed mobster John “Porky” Zancocchio recently got sprung from the lockup, where he was sent for a bail violation, after his lawyer complained that the food there was hurting his client’s already failing health.

Note: Read more on the "Vault 7" CIA files Schulte is accused of leaking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Shane Bauer goes back to prison, comes out with a new book
2018-10-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-10-28 21:37:20
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.


Incarcerated Pennsylvanians now have to pay $150 to read.
2018-10-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-10-22 03:07:13
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/incarcerated-pennsylvanians-now-have-...

Free access to books has dramatically improved the lives of incarcerated individuals, offering immense emotional and mental relief as well as a key source of rehabilitation. But as of last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has decided to make such rehabilitation much harder. Going forward, books and publications, including legal primers and prison newsletters, cannot be sent directly to incarcerated Pennsylvanians. Instead, if they want access to a book, they must first come up with $147 to purchase a tablet and then pay a private company for electronic versions of their reading material - but only if it’s available among the 8,500 titles offered to them through this new e-book system. Incarcerated people are paid less than $1 per hour. Most of the e-books available to them for purchase would be available free from Project Gutenberg. And nonpublic domain books in Pennsylvania’s e-book system are more expensive than on other e-book markets. This policy, part of a larger trend of censorship in state prisons around the country, should alarm everyone. Not only does it erect a huge financial barrier to books and severely restrict content, it also ... severely damages an incarcerated person’s ability to fully reenter society. Perhaps more alarming is that the head of the Pennsylvania DOC, Secretary John Wetzel, is president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. If Pennsylvania’s policies remain in place, other states are sure to follow suit.

Note: The above was written by Jodi Lincoln, co-chair of Book ’Em, a nonprofit organization that sends free reading material to incarcerated people and prison libraries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Pope Francis changes Catholic Church teaching to say death penalty is ‘inadmissible’
2018-08-02, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-08-06 00:24:41
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-francis-changes-catholic-church-tea...

Pope Francis has changed Catholic Church teaching to fully reject the death penalty, the Vatican announced Thursday, saying it would work to abolish capital punishment worldwide. The revision to several sentences of the catechism, the compendium of Catholic beliefs, has the potential to recast debates around the world on how to handle those accused of the most heinous crimes. The church’s updated teaching describes capital punishment as “inadmissible” and an attack on the “dignity of the person.” Previously, the church allowed for the death penalty in very rare cases, only as a means of “defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” Francis has for years been a vocal critic of the death penalty, calling it an “inhuman measure.” The Argentine pontiff has pointed to the church’s stance on the death penalty as evidence of how the Vatican can evolve: The church for centuries permitted executions, but in 1997, John Paul II dramatically narrowed the standards for when the punishment was permissible. Francis’s latest move places the issue toward the forefront of his own efforts to overhaul and modernize the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to social justice. The full political significance of the new teaching stands to emerge slowly, as priests and bishops speak more clearly about the death penalty to planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Because the practice has already been abolished in most countries with large Catholic populations ... the United States is among the places where the shift could have the greatest consequence.

Note: In 2014, a major study found that about 300 wrongfully-convicted people had been executed in the US between 1973 and 2004. from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry, analysis finds
2018-07-12, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2018-07-22 18:04:14
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-migrant-child-detention-201...

Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually — a tenfold increase over the past decade. Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million dollars in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody. Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states. By far the largest recipients of taxpayer money have been Southwest Key and Baptist Child & Family Services. From 2008 to date, Southwest Key has received $1.39 billion in grant funding to operate shelters; Baptist Child & Family Services has received $942 million. International Educational Services also was a big recipient, landing more than $72 million in the last fiscal year before folding amid a series of complaints about the conditions in its shelters. The recipients of the money run the gamut from nonprofits, religious organizations and for-profit entities. They are essentially government contractors for the Health and Human Services Department — the federal agency that administers the program keeping immigrant children in custody. In a recently released report, the State Department decried the general principle of holding children in shelters, saying it makes them inherently vulnerable.

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


Inmate deaths reveal “torturous” use of Tasers
2017-12-06, Reuters
Posted: 2018-07-09 00:16:38
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-taser-jails/

Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails. Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000 – 10 percent of a larger universe of more than 1,000 fatal law enforcement encounters in which the weapons were used. Of the 104 inmates who died, just two were armed. A third were in handcuffs or other restraints when stunned. In more than two-thirds of the 70 cases in which Reuters was able to gather full details, the inmate already was immobilized when shocked. Tasers have “high potential for abuse” behind bars, said U.S. Justice Department consultant Steve Martin, a former general counsel for the Texas Department of Corrections who has inspected more than 500 U.S. prisons and jails. “When you inflict pain, serious pain, for the singular purpose of inflicting pain ... it meets the definition of the legal standard of excessive force, but it’s also torturous.” San Bernardino County paid $2.8 million this year to nearly 40 current and former inmates to settle a series of lawsuits that included allegations Tasers were regularly used for torture at the county’s West Valley Detention Center. The suits alleged an array of abuses at the 3,347-bed jail ... including guards stunning inmates in the genitals. Inmate John Hanson testified he was shocked nearly five times a day from February to March 2014 in “surprise attacks” as he delivered meals to inmates. Deputies were “truly enjoying the control and affliction of pain,” he said.

Note: For lots more, see the entire Reuters series on Tasers on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption and non-lethal weapons.


Claims of 'non-stop cycle of torture' involving top officials in Ethiopian jail
2018-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-07-09 00:13:30
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/05/claims-torture-inv...

Ethiopia’s new prime minister has been urged to investigate a raft of gruesome torture and abuse allegations involving senior officials in the country’s most notorious prison. Jail Ogaden, officially known as Jijiga central prison, is home to thousands of prisoners and lies at the heart of Jigjiga, the capital of Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region. According to a report by Human Rights Watch ... prisoners are routinely brutalised and denied access to adequate medical care, family, lawyers, and sometimes food. Many have never been convicted of any crime. Former prisoners claimed they saw people dying in their cells after being tortured by officials. The report provides the most extensive catalogue to date of human rights abuses in eastern Ethiopia under Somali regional president Abdi Mohamed Omar, commonly known as Abdi Iley. The study documents alleged abuses including rape, sleep deprivation, long-term arbitrary detention, collective punishment and forced confessions between 2011 and early 2018. It highlights, in particular, the role of a 40,000-strong Somali special police unit known as the Liyu, which Abdi, then head of regional security, established in 2008 as part of a brutal counter-insurgency campaign targeting the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a secessionist rebel group. Most Jail Ogaden inmates are accused of some affiliation to the group. “Torture in detention is a serious problem throughout Ethiopia, but Jail Ogaden is in a class of its own,” said Felix Horne, the report’s author.

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


China May Still Be Harvesting Organs From Prisoners, Official Says
2017-02-07, Newsweek
Posted: 2018-06-10 22:54:31
http://www.newsweek.com/despite-zero-tolerance-organ-harvesting-prisoners-con...

A Chinese official has suggested China may still be using organs farmed from the bodies of executed prisoners. Huang Jiefu, director of Beijing’s transplant program, said at a Vatican summit on the topic that organ collection could still be taking place, despite China declaring zero tolerance for the practice at the end of 2014. At the summit held to discuss the practice of organ trafficking, Huang Jiefu told the assembled crowd - which included 80 doctors and NGO representatives - that China was trying to improve on its history of taking organs from those on death row. His attendance at the Organ Transplant and Transplant Tourism Summit was criticized by some attendees, who said that China’s presence reduced the legitimacy of the conference. The BBC reported that the Doctors Against Forced Harvesting described China’s involvement as “compromising.” Reports in the early 2000s suggested organs were frequently harvested from executed prisoners. Reports last year suggested the practice may have continued. The spiritual group Falun Gong, which was outlawed in China in 1999, is one of the most outspoken groups against organ harvesting. Members of the group, and supportive Western politicians, have suggested that waiting times for organ transplantation in China are so short due to the harvesting from prisoners. A 2008 paper ... co-authored by Jiefu published in The Lancet, suggested that more than half of organ transplants in China came from death row prisoners.

Note: For more evidence this practice may still be happening, see this article in the UK's Daily Mail. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why are for-profit US prisons subjecting detainees to forced labor?
2018-05-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-05-27 13:40:24
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/17/us-private-prisons-forc...

In 2017, officials at the Stewart immigration detention center in Georgia placed Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh, in solitary confinement for encouraging fellow workers to stop working. His punishment was solitary confinement for 10 days. Stewart is operated by the largest prison corporation in the US, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). A growing number of detained immigrants ... are subjected to forced labor. In April, we filed a lawsuit ... against CoreCivic, alleging that the prison corporation violates human trafficking laws and employs a deprivation scheme to force immigrants detained at Stewart to work for sub-minimum wages, and then threatens to punish them for refusing to work through solitary confinement or loss of access to necessities. A lawsuit against Geo Group, another prison corporation, is moving forward for using similar practices. CoreCivic’s abuse and exploitation ... constitute a contemporary form of slavery as we detailed in a submission to the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. None of this bothered a group of 18 Republican lawmakers ... who sent a letter to Jeff Sessions, Ice, and the Department of Labor asking them to help ... Geo Group defend itself against the lawsuits. These legislators’ support for the prison corporations perhaps should not come as a surprise. Private prison companies contributed $1.6m during the 2016 federal election cycle.

Note: The federal class action lawsuit described in the article above was filed against CoreCivic by Project South jointly with the Southern Poverty Law Center, attorney Andrew Free, and the law firm Burns Charest LLP. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison industry corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


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