Article: Think prison abolition in America is impossible? It once felt inevitable : Guardian by Dubler and Lloyd
Think prison abolition in America is impossible? It once felt inevitable
The Guardian May 19, 2018 by Dubler and Lloyd
In the 1960s and 1970s, attorneys general and Republican congressmen were among the many arguing that prison was immoral. Can those days return?
With amazing speed, ending mass incarceration has become a priority not only for leftists but also for centrists and even for some on the right. Jared Kushner recently classed prisoners with other “forgotten men and women” championed by Donald Trump. But none of the reforms on the table will actually end mass incarceration. Even if tomorrow we release every non-violent drug offender, every ageing prisoner and everyone who is in jail solely because they can’t make their bail – and we should do those things – the United States would still have an incarceration rate an order of magnitude higher than its peer nations.
Have You Ever Seen Someone Be Killed?
The New York Times May 25, 2018 :: Emily Badger
Researchers with the Boston Reentry Study were one year into their interviews, following 122 men and women as they returned from prison to their neighborhoods and families, when they asked the kind of question that’s hard to broach until you know someone well.
They prompted the study’s participants to think back to childhood. “Did you ever see someone get killed during that time?” ...
“The whole ethical foundation of our system of punishment I think is threatened once you take into account the reality of people’s lives,”
A Transgender Inmate Says She Was Raped
Time : By Kathleen Foody May 3, 2018
(DENVER) — A transgender inmate who is suing Colorado’s corrections agency says she was raped at a men’s prison hours after a federal judge denied her request to block the prison from keeping her in a disciplinary unit, according to court records and the woman’s attorney.
For Trump's Evangelical Advisers, Prison Reform Becomes a Front-Burner Issue
NPR :: Sarah McCammon
That idea – that redemption is possible, even in prison – is a central part of the Christian belief system, said Johnnie Moore, an evangelical leader and informal adviser to President Trump who attended the summit. "I'm not sure that for a number of years it was sort of considered a political issue," he said in an interview with NPR. "It was more just an issue of justice."
Moore is among leading evangelicals who are supporting the FIRST STEP Act, which focuses on improving prison conditions for pregnant inmates, and offers a path to possible early release for prisoners who earn credits for good behavior. The plan does not tackle many of the larger goals of criminal justice reform advocates, such as reducing or eliminating mandatory minimums for non-violent drug crimes.
Jesselyn McCurdy of the American Civil Liberties Union said she welcomes evangelical support for prison reform in principle, but worries the push for this legislation could squander an opportunity for more substantial reform. Among other concerns, she said the plan relies too heavily on releasing prisoners into halfway houses, which are underfunded.
Trump rolls back Obama Rules that helped transgender prisoners
USA Today : By Christal Hayes
The Bureau of Prisons rolled back some measures on Friday that helped prevent transgender prisoners from being harassed, assaulted and sexually abused.
The rules, posted just two days before President Trump's inauguration, laid out a number of guidelines for how prisons and guards should treat transgender inmates.
The manual instructed prisons to "recommend housing by gender identity when appropriate."
Now, under Trump, some of the policies have been altered, according to an updated manual posted to the Bureau of Prisons website Friday.
The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Federal Criminal Justice Initiatives on LGBTQ People & Communities and Opportunities for Local Resistance
Richard Saenz, Lambda Legal, Kara Ingelhart, Lambda Legal, and Andrea J. Ritchie, Barnard Center for Research on Women
This report offers an overview of the wide-ranging impacts of the Trump Administration’s federal criminal justice initiatives on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and communities, with a particular focus on impacts on LGBTQ people of color and immigrants. Our hope is that this information will serve as a resource to support the work of advocates working at the state and local levels to resist, avoid, limit, or lessen the impacts of federal criminal justice initiatives that harm LGBTQ communities, and to inform broader federal criminal justice reform and police accountability efforts.
Atheists Inmates In Their Own Words
Patheos by Godless Mom
May 9 - An Update from Pablo, Atheist on Death Row
May 1 - A New Inmate From Oregon
April 25 - Doing Time in Oregon As An Atheist pt 5
April 19 - Doing Time in Oregon As An Atheist pt 4
April 10 - - Doing Time in Oregon As An Atheist pt 3
April 3 - Doing Time in Oregon As An Atheist pt 2
March 26 - Doing Time in Oregon As An Atheist
March 14 - Innocent on Death Row? pt 2
March 13 - Innocent on Death Row
Each of these articles starts with some contextual information:
This is a series on what it’s like to be an atheist in prison. To read other parts in the series, click here. ... This series, for the most part, will not be about their crimes. I’m interested in painting a picture of what life is like for nonbelievers in the joint. ...
With that said, I’ve sent each inmate some preliminary questions to get the conversation going. If you find you have questions that arise as you read their responses, please post them in the comments below or email them to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure the person gets them.
Article/Podcast: IL Inmates Hope to get into this Prison
WBEZ by Miles Bryan
In Illinois’ Department of Corrections, there’s a prison so attractive that inmates write essays to get in. It’s only housing about 220 prisoners, but more than 1,500 have applied to get in. At the Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center, inmates are free to walk where they please, take art classes, and even garden.
Read More or Listen to WBEZ News
UUPMI Members note that this while we work toward a total reduction in prison population this is a model of how prisons should be run to ensure people live in dignity and care.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive