prisons

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An 'Abrupt About-Face' for Va. Prison Ban on Tampons

Tampon, menstrual cup ban for inmate visitors has been suspended—for the moment

(Newser) - Virginia is suspending a newly introduced policy that would have barred women who visit inmates at state prisons from using tampons or menstrual cups. Secretary of Public and Homeland Security Safety Brian Moran said Tuesday on Twitter that he'd ordered an "immediate suspension until further review." The... More »

Va. Prisons Issue New Rule on Feminine Hygiene Products

Female visitors will be banned from using tampons

(Newser) - Women who visit inmates at Virginia prisons will be barred from wearing tampons or menstrual cups under a new policy stemming from concerns about contraband, the state Department of Corrections said Monday. A spokeswoman said the policy is aimed at preventing contraband like drugs from being smuggled into prisons. "... More »

Judge Finds Prisoners Aren't Being Tortured by Powdered Milk

Canadian prisoner had complained, but judge dismissed his grievance

(Newser) - A Canadian inmate has lost his fight over powdered milk. The prisoner filed a grievance over the Correctional Service of Canada's policy of using the powdered dairy product rather than liquid milk, which was enacted in his facility in 2015, arguing that it violated his rights. William Johnson had... More »

Prisons Face 'Unique Challenges' With MS-13

Officials grapple with more fights, attacks, even extortion as MS-13 population rises behind bars

(Newser) - The good news: Hundreds of MS-13 gang members have been arrested over the past few years. The bad news: Those gang members are now wreaking havoc in the prisons they're in, perpetrating acts of violence and extortion to gain control over their locked-down domains. The Washington Post details the... More »

Inmates Say Florida Has Turned Them Into Slaves. They're Revolting

Operation PUSH begins Monday

(Newser) - Many Americans aren't working on Martin Luther King Day; others are protesting work that they describe as slave labor. The Guardian reports on an "unusual" protest organized by prisoners throughout the state of Florida that kicks off Monday. The primary grievance: that they're forced to work and... More »

After 10 Years, Inmate Wins Suit on Smoking in Prisons

State's prisons will have to be smoke-free by April 1 due to asthmatic inmate's complaint

(Newser) - Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence for two murders won a court judgment, per the AP . The Kansas City Star reports Missouri has been ordered to go smoke-free by April 1 because of the lawsuit Ecclesiastical Denzel Washington filed. Missouri... More »

'Tumor Eroded Through Skin': A Graphic Look at Prison Health Care

'Pacific Standard' charts the case of Debbie Daley

(Newser) - Pacific Standard sets out to expose the "twisted world of for-profit prison health care" in a lengthy piece that the easily queasy may struggle through. John H. Tucker charts the case of Debbie Daley, an inmate at Virginia's Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women who in July 2014... More »

What Happens to ISIS Babies When Their Parents Die

Home countries often won't take children back, so they end up in limbo or in prisons

(Newser) - Hundreds of children fathered by the Islamic State's foreign fighters or brought to the self-proclaimed caliphate by their parents are now imprisoned or in limbo with nowhere to go, collateral victims as the militant group retreats and home countries hesitate to take them back. One young Tunisian orphan, Tamim... More »

Dad Seeking Inmate Son Finds One Devastating Word

Lonnie Hamilton says he was never told his son had died in NY state prison

(Newser) - Lonnie "Ham" Hamilton is the father of four, but it was his namesake, Lonnie Hamilton III, who was his "best friend" and "shadow." Which makes what happened to the younger Hamilton in New York state's prison system, documented in Jennifer Gonnerman's piece for the... More »

Sad Reason Why Ex-Inmate's Freedom Lasted Just 103 Days

Dealing with mental illness, addiction in Mass. prisons and in real world stacks deck against certain prisoners

(Newser) - It can be tough for ex-inmates to stay out of trouble when they get out prison, but for those with drug problems or battling mental illness in Massachusetts, the transition is even more of a struggle, per a piece by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team. A Department of Correction... More »

DOJ: We're Phasing Out Private Prisons

After IG report found private prisons aren't as safe, don't offer significant cost-savings

(Newser) - Shares for two big corrections companies took a deep dive Thursday after a report that the Justice Department is moving away from using private prisons, with the eventual goal of no private prisons under its umbrella at all, CNBC reports. Prison companies GEO and Corrections Corporation of America saw more... More »

California to End Unlimited Solitary Confinement

Thousands of inmates to be moved out of isolation

(Newser) - Thousands of inmates will soon be moved out of solitary confinement in California, after years of court battles and hunger strikes against the controversial practice. The state's decision was revealed in a legal settlement filed today—which still must be accepted by the court—with a group of inmates... More »

Prisons Should Be More Like Work Camps

It would help both the prisoners and the taxpayers

(Newser) - You know that movie cliche about prison inmates making license plates? Well, our prison system—and the inmates themselves—would benefit from a lot more of that kind of thing, writes Nathan Siegel at Ozy . Only a "scant proportion" of inmates have a prison job while locked up, even... More »

It's Time to Expand College Programs in Prison

Degrees will make ex-cons less likely to end up back in jail, says Bill Keller

(Newser) - Andrew Cuomo got flak when he announced plans to fund college classes for inmates in 10 of New York's prisons, and ended up backing off the idea. But he was right, writes Bill Keller in the New York Times . After all, "what is prison for?" Yes, one of... More »

Report: Inmates Control 65% of Mexico's Prisons

According to review of 101 most populated prisons

(Newser) - Mexico's prisons are in "critical condition," says an official, and a new report seems to confirm it: Sixty-five of Mexico's 101 most populous prisons were controlled by the inmates themselves last year, according to the National Human Rights Commission; that's up 4.3% from 2011.... More »

Irish Prison to Stop Making Inmates Crap in Buckets

182 will no longer have to 'slop out'

(Newser) - Some sweet-smelling news for prisoners at Dublin's Mountjoy Prison: They will no longer have to go to the bathroom in buckets or commodes in their cells, a practice known as "slopping out." Across Ireland, 504 prisoners—about 12% of the country's prison population—still have to... More »

Celebs Back Calif. Prisoners' Hunger Strike

Jay Leno, Bonnie Raitt, others sign letter to governor

(Newser) - California prisoners have been hunger striking since July 8 to protest the state's use of solitary confinement, and now they have a cohort of celebrities and other big names on their side. In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown sent yesterday, Gloria Steinem, Jesse Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Jay Leno,... More »

What Death Row Inmates Say Before They Die

Texas keeps an online database of last words

(Newser) - Texas executes more inmates than any other state, but its gone are not forgotten. The state memorializes its executed with a morbidly fascinating online database containing each inmate's last statement, the New York Times reports. Some praise a deity, some tell their family they love them one last time,... More »

What We Spend on Each Gitmo Inmate a Year: $900K

High price could help Obama argue for closure

(Newser) - Obama once again promised to close Guantanamo Bay last week, citing its high operating cost as a factor. Just how high? $150 million a year—or $900,000 per inmate. That's compared to $60,000 to $70,000 for an inmate in a super-max prison. And military officials are... More »

Hot on Yelp: Prison Reviews

But amusing trend underscores serious problem

(Newser) - Planning on committing a crime in the near future? You might want to check Yelp first and make sure you do so in a county that has a nice jail. Yes, prison reviews are increasingly popular on Yelp, with reviewers commenting on everything from cleanliness and food quality to security... More »

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