Category: critical criminology

How Does the Biggest Prison Strike in American History Go Unnoticed? | TheLoop21.com

By , December 23, 2010 7:36 pm

In September of 1971, more than a thousand prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica , NY revolted in what eventually became one of the most famous prison standoffs in American history.  Before the insurrection was bloodily quelled on orders of then New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the prisoners demanded animprovement to the conditions that they were forced to live.  In the midst of the Black Power Movement, Attica became a lasting symbol for demands for human and civil rights, even among the incarcerated.

In the spirit of Attica, nearly 40 years later, prisoners at six prisons in Georgia, organized a non-violent labor strike to demand better conditions for themselves. Specifically the inmates demanded a living wage for their work, educational opportunities, decent health care, an end to cruel and unusual punishment, decent living conditions, nutritional meals, opportunities for self-improvement rehabilitation, access to their families and just parole decisions.

via How Does the Biggest Prison Strike in American History Go Unnoticed? | TheLoop21.com.

Monitoring America

By , December 20, 2010 2:28 pm

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nations history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

via Monitoring America | washingtonpost.com.

Anarchist group claims responsibility for Department of Corrections vandalism | Asheville News | Mountain Xpress

By , December 1, 2010 10:55 am

An anonymous group of anarchists has claimed responsibility for a Nov. 24 vandalism of the Department of Corrections building on McDowell Street. Police say the vandals slashed several vehicles’ tires and painted slogans like “Burn Prisons” on the building.“Nov. 24 in the dead of night, we attacked the Department of Corrections DOC: Division of Community Corrections on McDowell St. in Asheville, NC,” an anonymous member of the group writes on the website Anarchist News. “Six DOC vehicles were disabled. Their tires were slashed and their windows destroyed with glass etching fluid. “Burn the Prisons” and a circled A were scrawled across DOC building’s veneer.”

via Anarchist group claims responsibility for Department of Corrections vandalism | Asheville News | Mountain Xpress.

Obsolete Magazine: DISOBEY

By , November 15, 2010 9:19 am

Because of this growing disconnect between the people and their rulers, more and more citizens are choosing to practice “selective obedience”. By simply choosing not to observe certain laws, boundaries are stretched and eventually they become irrelevant. For example, many (if not most) young people in America today violate copyright laws. They download music and movies from pirate sites overseas, and most never experience any legal issues. It has become the norm. Persecuting a few poorly chosen individuals to make “examples” out of them simply makes the entertainment industry and their friends in the new Apparatchik look that much more foolish. Drug prohibition, clearly a long-standing example of the total failure of policy-making, serves only to profit the prison-industrial complex, while the vast majority of casual users continue to enjoy altering their realities un-hindered by big-brother. Speed limits? They only matter if you get caught. Taxes on barter, trade or cash payments? Yeah right.

via Obsolete Magazine: DISOBEY.

Resisting Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex

By , November 14, 2010 9:03 pm
Timeline of total number of inmates in U.S. pr...
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Victoria Law is a longtime prison activist and the author of the 2009 book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press). Law’s essay “Sick of the Abuse: Feminist Responses to Sexual Assault, Battering, and Self Defense,” is featured in the new book, entitled The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism, edited by Dan Berger.

In this interview, Law discusses her new article, which provides a history of radical feminist resistance to the criminalization of women who have defended themselves from gender violence. Furthermore, Law presents a prison abolitionist critique of how the mainstream women’s movement has embraced the US criminal justice system as a solution for combating violence against women.

Previously interviewed by Angola 3 News about the torture of women in US prisons, Law is now on the road with the Community and Resistance Tour.

via Resisting Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex | Dissident Voice.

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How a Fraud’s Value Affects Prison Time

By , November 9, 2010 7:10 pm

LOS ANGELES—When Bruce Karatz was running KB Home, the giant home builder pulled in billions of dollars a year in revenue. But now, a mere $11 million could help determine whether Mr. Karatz spends more than a half decade in prison.

On Wednesday, the former chief executive is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court here for his April conviction for fraud and making false statements in connection with an options-backdating scandal. Mr. Karatz, who the government alleges tried to make nearly $11 million from backdating, has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.

The U.S. Probation Office, an arm of the courts, has recommended that Judge Otis Wright give Mr. Karatz probation and eight months of home confinement. The U.S. Attorney’s office here wants a 6.5-year prison sentence. In a filing, the prosecutors argue that confining Mr. Karatz in his “24-room Bel-Air mansion,” would suggest “a two-tiered criminal justice system, one for the affluent….and a second for ordinary citizens.”

via How a Fraud’s Value Affects Prison Time – WSJ.com.

Between the Bars

By , November 6, 2010 1:53 pm

Between the Bars is a weblog platform for prisoners, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since prisoners are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between prisoners and non-prisoners, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner’s lives, and help to reduce recidivism.

via BetweenTheBars.org : Welcome.

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Criminal justice trends: key legislative changes in sentencing policy, 2001-2010 | Vera Institute of Justice

By , October 31, 2010 8:32 am
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Since 2001, many state legislatures have changed their criminal sentencing policies, increasingly emphasizing approaches that are “smart on crime.” The three main areas of legislative reform involve redefining and reclassifying criminal offenses, strengthening alternatives to incarceration, and reducing prison terms. This report is a reference for legislators, their staff, and other policy makers who may be considering or implementing similar changes in sentencing statutes and policies.

via Criminal justice trends: key legislative changes in sentencing policy, 2001-2010 | Vera Institute of Justice.

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Interactive feature: The continuing fiscal crisis in corrections | Vera Institute of Justice

By , October 30, 2010 10:57 am

This page shows corrections appropriations in 44 states for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. You can view those states’ corrections allocations and recent changes in funding sources, including stimulus monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections collected this data for the report The Continuing Fiscal Crisis in Corrections: Setting a New Course. Budget appropriations are shown only for the 44 states that participated in a survey Vera conducted in the summer of 2010.

via Interactive feature: The continuing fiscal crisis in corrections | Vera Institute of Justice.

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR

By , October 30, 2010 10:55 am

Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz., a small desert town 60 miles from the Mexico border, offering a deal.

Glenn Nichols, the Benson city manager, remembers the pitch.

“The gentleman that’s the main thrust of this thing has a huge turquoise ring on his finger,” Nichols said. “He’s a great big huge guy and I equated him to a car salesman.”

What he was selling was a prison for women and children who were illegal immigrants.

“They talk [about] how positive this was going to be for the community,” Nichols said, “the amount of money that we would realize from each prisoner on a daily rate.”

But Nichols wasn’t buying. He asked them how would they possibly keep a prison full for years — decades even — with illegal immigrants?

Glenn Nichols, city manager of Benson, Ariz.

Laura Sullivan/NPR

Glenn Nichols, city manager of Benson, Ariz., says two men came to the city last year “talking about building a facility to hold women and children that were illegals.”

“They talked like they didn’t have any doubt they could fill it,” Nichols said.

That’s because prison companies like this one had a plan — a new business model to lock up illegal immigrants. And the plan became Arizona’s immigration law.

via Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR.

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