“The Zo,” prison jargon for The Twilight Zone, was based on a huge archive of letters compiled by the American Prison Writing Archive, a remarkable open-source database invented by Doran Larson, a professor of creative writing at Hamilton College. It is a disturbing study of a struggle between prisoners and their captors, waged not with fists or weapons but with deliberately disorienting rules and impossible tasks. Guards mess with the prisoner’s heads. Those incarcerated try to keep their grip on reality by clinging to details—days until parole, prices of items in the commissary, the minutiae of routine. Guards escalate, inflicting arbitrary transfers or random stints in isolation.
Crain's Chicago Business
by Stephanie Goldberg
Investigation blames treatment delays for preventable deaths.
When inmate William Kent Dean complained of blood clots in his urine, a prison doctor said he might have kidney stones—or cancer. He waited four months for a diagnosis of advanced kidney cancer and another three months for the surgery he needed to survive.
The National Bail Industry Is Funding Misleading Facebook Ads To Fight Bail Reform Movement, Advocates Say
BY GEORGE JOSEPH
The national bail industry is bankrolling a Facebook campaign against New York state’s new bail reform law. From December through this month, the American Bail Coalition, which represents bail bonds insurers, has spent around $8,000 on promotional posts that have generated between 965,000 and 1.1 million impressions in New York state alone. The industry group has also spent thousands more on Facebook ads across the country, a small fraction of which have generated impressions in New York.
by Liliana Segura
It is not unusual for the condemned to form bonds and support one another. Regular visitors to Tennessee’s death row often describe how important those relationships have become in their own lives as well — and how devastating each execution can be. On occasion, prison employees themselves will speak out against an execution, describing the ways in which the condemned person has changed and evolved over the years. Yet Sutton’s clemency petition is striking for the number of people, including prison officials, who describe him as Joyce House does, as a man who has gone out of his way to help others — and even save lives.
Life Inside: The Marshall Project
By Keith Martin
"When you’re in prison, outside sights and sounds can become cruel jokes...
Life Inside: Perspectives from those who work and live in the criminal justice system. "
By Maurice Chammah
St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Marshall Project
"The chair no one wants to sit in. In jails across the country, sometimes for days or weeks at a time, prisoners are held in “restraint chairs” that they say inflict acute physical pain and lasting emotional damage. Jail officials say the chairs ensure that detainees do not harm themselves while intoxicated or suffering from mental illness. But widespread use of the chair has been linked to at least 20 deaths in the past six years, and there is little oversight or accountability. In collaboration with the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, TMP’s Maurice Chammah has this story..."
by James V. Cook, Miami-Herald
Florida prisons are badly underfunded. Prisoners tell me short-staffing corrections positions allows well-organized gangs a freer hand while some prison officials turn a blind eye. Drugs flow into prison and are distributed by inmates who seem to move freely. Last I checked, there was no mandatory discipline for officers who let inmates in and out of unauthorized housing areas...Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “The degree of civilization in a society is revealed by entering its prisons.” I have been there, and we are in trouble.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive