Category Archives: Uncategorized

Inmate Suicides in South Carolina Prisons

The Prison Enquirer

I think Castro has prompted a lot of interest in inmate suicide in general.  This article discusses suicide in SC prisons.  Since 2000, SC experienced 38 suicides.  In the same time period, 24 inmates were the victims of homicides.  The homicide number seems a bit high to me, because we definitely have a higher suicide to homicide ratio in Ohio.

Read more about SC prison suicides here.

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California prison hunger strike called off

The Prison Enquirer

From the article: “Inmates in several prisons were demanding an end to long-term solitary confinement and a halt to what is known as the “debriefing” policy, in which inmates are required to provide information on prison gangs to get out of solitary.”

Not sure how to feel about this.  On the one hand, I don’t support hunger strikes and I definitely don’t want inmates to endanger their lives.  I also think that giving in to the hunger striker demands (as we have done in Ohio) encourages people to hunger strike and perpetuates the problem.

On the other hand, kind of feel bad for the inmates that they fought the system…and lost.

Read more here.

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Challenging Punishment: What the California Prisoners Hunger Strike Tells Us About Mass Incarceration

By Samuel K. Roberts, PhD

prison_barsThe hunger strike at Pelican Bay is the third such action in the past two years and only the most recent in a 20-year history of protests against conditions there going back to the 1995 Madrid v. Gomez case. Now the strike has spread to roughly two-thirds of the state’s 33 prisons, currently involving at least 12,000 prisoners and perhaps as many as 30,000. Strikers’ demands vary, but in total include an increase in hourly wages (currently 13 cents); more humane treatment; and the restoration of educational, rehabilitative, vocational and mental and physical health services recently excised from prison budgets. One of the main demands is an address of the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement, or extreme isolation, in Secure Housing Units (SHUs) and supermax prisons, in which prisoners are locked in a cell for 22 to 24 hours a day, and denied contact with anyone except prison…

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Pardon the Hiatus: I’ll be back shortly!

Hello everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I have a few posts in the works and they will be published within a week or two. It’s been a few busy weeks, wrapping up my time here at Ole Miss and preparing to move onto Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. But I’ll be back on track soon. My reading list is full, so there are some great posts in store. 

Friday Crime Vids – DUI Checkpoint Stop

Not exactly relating to prison history or prison news, but it’s definitely in the ball park. Interesting video.

Crime & Justice

If you haven’t seen it yet, this week’s video is a fascinating example of police interaction at a DUI checkpoint. I’ve watched it several times now and, frankly, I have to say I’m embarrassed for the officers.  It’s pretty clear they want to do a good job and that they take their role as law enforcers seriously.

Unfortunately, they also appear to be poorly trained, not very well supervised, and more interested in using intimidation tactics than they are in following the letter, spirit and intent of the law.

Fourth of July DUI Checkpoint (click on the banner in the middle of the screen to remove it)

First, know that I’m not anti-police, anti-authority, or anything of the sort. I simply can’t tolerate bad behavior by those who are supposed to be protecting and serving our communities. With that in mind, below are my comments about specifics of the encounter: 

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Today in Legal History: Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act

As we celebrate our independence on this day, let us remember those that were not considered worthy of independence at the creation of our Constitution. By and large, African slaves, Native Americans, and even women were a forgotten afterthought in our nation’s struggle for independence and in the creation of it’s form of government. The “deals with the devil” contained within the Constitution (Rendition Clause, etc) were one of the main reasons southern states eventually ratified the Constitution. Thus, our new nation set a path of inequality. While legislation like the CRA of 64 removed some of the inequalities, many still remain today. But, let’s remember the historic fight to establish equality for all races and creeds in our nation. They are worthy of celebration on our nation’s independence day. Everyone have a great and safe day!