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Life Behind Bars

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346 Inmates Die, Guards Fired In Florida Prisons. Jerry Washington, pictured in the top left, filed a sexual harassment complaint against two officers in the Santa Rosa Correctional Institute.

346 Inmates Die, Guards Fired In Florida Prisons

A few days later, after the officers learned of the complaint, they threatened to kill Jerry. Jerry filed another complaint with the prison about the death threats. Afraid for his safety, he wrote his sister a letter and included copies of both of the grievances he had filed. You can read the letter and copies of the complaints here. In the letter he tells her very clearly that if anything happens to him, she should know that it wasn't an accident. Seven days later, Jerry Washington was killed in prison. America’s Prisons So Polluted They're Endangering Inmates. Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo Environmental hazards are having a massive affect on one of society’s most marginalized groups: The incarcerated.

America’s Prisons So Polluted They're Endangering Inmates

According to a new investigation from Earth Island Journal and Truthout, mass incarceration has led to some of the most egregious examples of environmental injustice. Florida Prison: House Of Horrors For Women. We know its past time to hold police accountable for the sexual terror they inflict on vulnerable populations.

Florida Prison: House Of Horrors For Women

What about those who work in the nation’s prisons and jails? Is there even such a thing as beyond past time? Amnesty International, which champions human rights around the world, turned its sights on the U.S. back in 1999 zeroing in on, among other things, rampant sexual abuse against women prisoners. Almost 20 years later the abuse continues in various correctional institutions unabated.

The Miami Herald is currently publishing a three-part series on corruption, sexual abuse, and medical neglect at the Lowell Correctional Facility in Florida. “But perhaps the worst indignity of all, women say, is that the officers — both male and female — use their positions of power to pressure inmates to have sex and to perform indecent acts. Force Against Prisoners With Mental Illness.

(New York) – Jail and prison staff throughout the United States have used unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force against prisoners with mental disabilities, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today.

Force Against Prisoners With Mental Illness

The 127-page report, “Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons,” details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds. Getting Sick Can Be Death Sentence At Angola Prison. Old times there are not forgotten Tucked into a bend of the Mississippi River, Angola is the largest maximum-security state prison in the country.

Getting Sick Can Be Death Sentence At Angola Prison

It is also a working plantation bigger than Manhattan. Home to more than 6,250 male convicts and hundreds of “freepeople” (employees and their families), the penitentiary gets its name from the Angolan slaves who once worked its fields. More Spending Life in Prison Than Ever Before. iStock One out of every nine prisoners in the United States is currently serving a life sentence—a record high—even as the overall prison population has fallen.

More Spending Life in Prison Than Ever Before

That’s according to a depressing new report by the Sentencing Project, an advocacy group that’s been tracking life sentences since 2004. Multiple Inmate Deaths In Pennsylvania. PrimeCare Medical Inc.

Multiple Inmate Deaths In Pennsylvania

On March 27th, a jury in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, found that private jail medical contractor PrimeCare Medical Inc. was negligent, but ultimately not responsible for the death of 27-year-old inmate Travis Magditch. The Magditch family sued PrimeCare and Lehigh County in 2012 after Travis was arrested for allegedly possessing drug paraphernalia and died of an asthma attack at the jail one day later. Prison Guards Often Abuse Female Inmates. At one point, Officer C choked her, leaving bruises on her neck.

Prison Guards Often Abuse Female Inmates

Prison Money Services Locked Up By Big Banks. Lubricating the system Across the country, jails and prisons are hungry for ways to shift their operational costs onto inmates and their families.

Prison Money Services Locked Up By Big Banks

Inmates need money to pay for essentials like toiletries and court fines as well as extras like higher-quality food than what is served in prison cafeterias. Their families often pay high fees to send them the money. Inmates, in turn, pay marked-up prices for items sold at prison stores. Prison Overcrowding: Human Sardine Cans. America's federal prisons are a catastrophe.

Prison Overcrowding: Human Sardine Cans

They're so overcrowded that the health and safety of both the inmates and the corrections officers are in dire peril. The system is so broken and corrupt that no one is getting the rehabilitation they need to close the revolving door of re-offending. And it's threatening to bankrupt the nation. All in the name of getting "Tough on Crime. " A macho mantra that Americans are, increasingly, growing sick of as crime rates continue to soar amid what has become, a Wild West gun culture. America locks up far more prisoners and has a far higher repeat offender rate than other industrialized nations. The Caging of America. A prison is a trap for catching time. Good reporting appears often about the inner life of the American prison, but the catch is that American prison life is mostly undramatic—the reported stories fail to grab us, because, for the most part, nothing happens.