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Reporting Human Rights Violations: A How-to Guide for Prisoners

The following guide, published by the Human Rights Coalition, offers guidelines for prisoners on reporting human rights violations. The method described is simple, requiring documentation, intervention, and movement-building: [W]e learn the truth by gathering evidence (documentation); we take action according to the urgency of the situation and our capacity to move people (intervention); and we bring others…

Jeffrey Havard

Jeffrey Havard fights wrongful conviction and death sentence from Mississippi’s death row

The future is uncertain for Jeffery Havard, who currently sits wrongfully convicted in solitary confinement on Mississippi’s death row, where he has remained for almost 13 years. Time is running out for prisoner L3955. Havard, 36, has been incarcerated at Parchman Penitentiary since December of 2002, when he was charged for sexually abusing and murdering his former girlfriend’s six-month-old daughter, Chloe…

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Torture Expressed Through Art: A teen’s horrifying tale of solitary confinement at NYC’s Rikers Island jail

Originally posted on Fusion:
Every year, thousands of teens are held in solitary confinement in jails, prisons and juvenile halls nationwide. This is the story of Ismael “Izzy” Nazario and the time he spent in solitary confinement in New York City’s Rikers Island jail. Izzy’s dialogue is taken from transcriptions of audio recordings from several…

North Carolina: Solitary Confinement of Prisoners with Mental Illness

Under Fire for Negligence, North Carolina Prisons Chief Seeks New Funding for Mental Health Treatment

December 15, 2014 | by Lisa Dawson North Carolina corrections chief David Guice wants more than $20 million to improve the treatment of people with mental illness in the state’s prisons. His request comes on the heels of two recent reports showing neglect and abuse of prisoners with psychiatric disabilities in North Carolina, and the…

What is solitary confinement?

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:
by Abdul Olugbala Shakur At first glance, and from its most simplistic perspective, the question, What is solitary confinement? appears to be rhetorical, if not insulting, but you would be surprised, if not incredulous, how many prison rights activists are at a loss when I pose it to them.…

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MEDIA RELEASE: Lawsuit seeks to invalidate outgoing Governor’s censorship statute

Originally posted on Abolitionist Law Center:
Prisoners, human rights advocates, scholars, and media sue to prevent enforcement of “Silence Mumia Law” November 10, 2014: Pittsburgh, PA – A lawsuit challenging a Pennsylvania censorship law intended to silence Mumia Abu-Jamal and others convicted of personal injury crimes was filed today, less than one month after outgoing…

U.N. Criticizes U.S. on Torture, Police Practices, Immigration Detention

ACLU: U.N. Criticizes U.S. on Torture, Police Practices, Immigration Detention

The following comes from the ACLU: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: media@aclu.org GENEVA – The United Nations Committee Against Torture issued a report today castigating the United States’ record on a wide range of issues, including lack of accountability for torture, immigration detention, and abusive criminal justice practices such as solitary confinement and excessive use of…

New York City Mayor De Blasio: We Need to Address People with Mental Illnesses in Jail

NEW YORK—At a Thursday press briefing on the Department of Correction’s planned reforms of jail conditions at Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte expressed that their biggest challenge is how to provide for mentally ill inmates. The mayor said the high proportion of inmates with a mental illness—at 40 percent…

Voices from Solitary | Nathan Brewer | Hamilton County Jail | Solitary Confinement

Voices from Solitary: A Day in the Life, Part VI

The following essay was originally published on Solitary Watch: This post is the next in a series of pieces Solitary Watch is publishing as part of a project calling for people held in solitary confinement to write on various proposed themes. Our first suggested theme, “A Day in the Life,” calls for writers to describe a day…

A Flicker Turns Into A Flame: Alabama Prisoners Want Change – A Report From F.A.M’S Southern Region

Originally posted on Free Alabama Movement:
A Flicker Turns Into A flame: Alabama Prisoners Want Change A Report From F.A.M’S Southern Region By Kinetik Justice Amun Today in America, there’s the resurgence of a People’s Movement sweeping across the Nation — As the flame of inhumane treatment and economical exploitation has billowed into a wildfire…

Reporting Human Rights Violations: A How-to Guide for Prisoners

The following guide, published by the Human Rights Coalition, offers guidelines for prisoners on reporting human rights violations. The method described is simple, requiring documentation, intervention, and movement-building: [W]e learn the truth by gathering evidence (documentation); we take action according to the urgency of the situation and our capacity to move people (intervention); and we bring others…

Free Alabama Movement Blasts Racial Make-Up of Governor Bentley’s and Sen. Cam Ward’s Prison Reform Task Force and The Council of State Governments: Cites National Report that Debunks CSG and their Justice Reinvestment Initiative program

Originally posted on Free Alabama Movement:
On June 10, 2014, Governor Robert Bentley, surrounded by Sen. Cam Ward, Commissioner Kim Thomas, Chief Justice Roy Moore and others, announced the formation of Alabama’s 25-member Prison Reform Task Force and a partnership with the Council of State Governments (CSG), to address longstanding and nationally publicized issues that…

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U.S. Tells UN panel that Ban on Torture Applies to Everyone, Everywhere

GENEVA — The Obama administration moved forcefully Thursday to distance itself from Bush administration policies, telling a United Nations panel that the ban on torture enshrined in a 1984 treaty that the U.S. signed applies worldwide and covers all people and places, including detention facilities abroad. “The answer to the question whether the U.S. will…

A Call to Prisoners’ Rights Warriors: Fighting the Burnout

A Call to Prisoner Activists: Fighting the Burnout

Engaging in work that seeks to improve some aspect of the lives of others, society or a particular area of society is healthy on many levels. Aside from lending yourself to a particular cause, this type of work enable individuals to get out of their own heads, the benefits of which are countless. Despite this, avoiding burnout is no small feat after going at the daily grind for months or years.

The Inhumanity of How We Incarcerate

The Inhumanity of How We Incarcerate

North Carolina man Anthony Michael Kerr’s, who died of dehydration in solitary confinement, is only the latest horrifying story we’ve heard in recent months. You may recall Darren Rainey, the mentally ill Florida inmate whose skin was boiled off his bones when guards locked him in a scalding shower as a punishment. Former employees later alleged that staff at that Dade County facility made a “sport” of brutalizing the mentally ill. Or Jerome Murdough, who died of heat exposure after left unattended for hours in a cell in a Rikers unit for mentally ill patients. This, despite the fact that prison officials knew a heating unit malfunction had raised the temperature in those cells to dangerously high levels. Or Christopher Lopez, a schizophrenic man in Colorado who suffered two seizures and died on the concrete floor of a prison cell while guards allegedly mocked and laughed at him. Prison officials waited a year and a half before bothering to report his death.