- Private Prisons 101: Who runs them, how much they profit, how many people they lock up. These numbers from ProPublica might shock you.
- The Abuse of Solitary Confinement: this New York Times editorial covers some scary data presented at Tuesday's Senate hearing on the issue (80,000 prisoners held in isolation nationwide!), and calls for limiting the use of segregation.
- New Jersey halfway houses: As big as some prisons, privately-run halfway houses have racked up a disturbing record of escapes in recent years, and some of them have eyebrow-raising connections to the governor. It's a good reminder to sentencing reformers: if we are going to use alternatives to incarceration to reduce prison populations and costs over the long-term, we should make sure they are both cost-effective and accountable to the public -- starting with keeping the public safe. We should also make sure those alternatives are used for the right kinds of offenders and provide them with the services they need. For an interesting economic analysis of what may be driving prison and halfway house privatization (and whether it actually saves governments money), check out this column from The New York Times.
- Mentally ill prisoners at the toughest prison in America: This Atlantic article describes a lawsuit challenging the conditions and treatment of prisoners at the "Supermax," ADX-Florence, Colorado. It reminds all of us taxpayers: "The Bureau of Prisons is not permitted to treat men like animals no matter what they have done." Warning: it isn't a cheerful read.
Friday, June 22, 2012
FAMM doesn't work directly on the issues of solitary confinement, incarceration of the mentally ill, prison privatization, and halfway houses, but we know they are issues near and dear to the hearts of many of our followers. There's been a lot of media on those issues lately, and you might have missed some of it. Here are some articles -- some of which will put even more heat under your collar for the hot weekend ahead: