NEWS ABOUT: prison

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What Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Can, Can't Do in Prison

No speaking to inmates; little outdoor time

(Newser) - A year to the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, Boston is mourning —and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is awaiting trial. The New York Times offers a look inside the medical facility where he is being held under federally-approved "special administrative measures." The rules apply to prisoners who are... 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 »

Whitey Bulger: An Innocent Man Is Behind Bars

Boston hit man urges 'real killer' to step forward

(Newser) - Notorious Boston hit man James "Whitey" Bulger has adopted an unlikely cause: exonerating a man in prison for murder, the Boston Globe reports. Fred Weichel, a South Boston man behind bars for 32 years, has long claimed he never committed murder in 1980. He even got a new trial... More »

Homeless Vet 'Basically Baked to Death' in NY Jail

Riker's Island having trouble with mental illness, violence

(Newser) - Guards at Rikers Island are supposed to check on mentally ill inmates every 15 minutes. But when Jerome Murdough was booked for sleeping on a housing project roof, he was left unattended long enough to keel over dead from overheating, the AP revealed today. The former Marine was left alone... More »

Why a Prisons Chief Put Himself in Solitary

Rick Raemisch wanted to have the experience

(Newser) - Rick Raemisch is no average prisons chief, but these aren't average times for US prisons. Newly appointed as Colorado's chief of corrections, Raemisch put himself in solitary confinement for 20 hours to experience the most controversial form of punishment in prisons today, the New York Times reports. "... More »

FBI Probes Prison Known as 'Gladiator School'

Audit found serious understaffing; facility said to be run by gangs

(Newser) - Violence at Idaho's biggest prison has prompted inmates to call it "Gladiator School," and now the FBI is on the case. Federal agents are taking over an Idaho investigation into the private Nashville, Tennessee-based firm Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the Idaho Correctional Center, the AP... More »

Killer Breivik Vows Hunger Strike Over PlayStation

He likens current jail treatment (including a lowly PS2) to torture

(Newser) - The man who killed 77 people at a Norway summer camp has threatened to go on hunger strike over, among other things, his video game selection. The AFP obtained a letter sent by Anders Breivik to prison officials in November in which he likened his current treatment to "torture,... More »

Guards Accused in Half of All Prison Sex Assaults

But the vast majority of cases are dismissed

(Newser) - Guards are accused in roughly half of all prison sex assaults, yet they almost never face charges for them, according to a grim new Justice Department survey of prison administrators. There were 8,000 sexual abuse reports logged between 2009 and 2011, the report says, an 11% increase from the... More »

Century Later, Conjugal Visits to End in Mississippi

Leaving 5 states that allow them, down from 17 in 1993

(Newser) - Only six states allow prisoners conjugal visits—and the state where the practice began roughly a century ago, Mississippi, is poised to halt (but not legally ban) those visits Feb. 1. The prison commissioner in the state, where 155 of some 22,000 inmates had such visits last year, blames... More »

How a Model Prison Became America's Scariest

USP Lewisberg: from rehabilitation to hardcore 'attitude adjustment'

(Newser) - A prison that once encouraged upbeat activities among inmates is now home to the nation's nastiest criminals and severe prison tactics—a transformation that may say a lot about our prison system in general. An academic article , summarized by Justin Peters at Slate , recounts how the USP Lewisberg facility... More »

Sweden Closing Prisons as Inmate Numbers Drop

Nation sees a steep 6% reduction

(Newser) - Seems like a good problem to have: Sweden is shutting down four prisons and a detention center because it doesn't have enough inmates to fill them, reports the Guardian . The move follows a 6% drop in inmate numbers from 2011 to 2012, with similar numbers expected this year. What... More »

Family of Pussy Riot Member Says She's Cut Off

Husband hasn't heard from her in nearly 2 weeks since transfer

(Newser) - The family of jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova accuse Russian authorities of trying to cut her off from them and the outside world, reports BuzzFeed . Tolokonnikova's husband says he hasn't had any contact with his wife since she got shipped off by train to a new prison... More »

How 2 Killers Changed America's Prisons Forever

The Marion prison lockdown paved way for today's Supermax facilities

(Newser) - These days, nearly every state in America has a Supermax facility, places where killers and terrorists are kept in isolated cells almost constantly, in conditions that have sparked lawsuits and raised the ire of groups like Human Rights Watch. How did it get this way? It all started with two... More »

'Prison Angel' Nun Dead at 86

California native spent decades living in Tijiuana prison

(Newser) - Sister Antonia Brenner was raised in Beverly Hills, with people like Cary Grant for neighbors. But as an adult she spent more than three decades living, by choice, in a Tijuana prison cell, surrounded by the convicts she ministered to. Inmates and guards alike referred to Sister Brenner as the... More »

Ex-Qwest CEO Became BFFs With Drug Offenders in Prison

Paid other inmates to clean his cell with cans of tuna

(Newser) - Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio has emerged from his 54-month prison stint a changed man. The 64-year-old is thinner, healthier, and stronger, thanks to lifting weights and running; he's tanned, shaved his head, and grown a goatee; and his new best friends are a couple of drug offenders named... More »

Japan Prison Unveils Cuddly New Mascot

Institution decides its image needs softening

(Newser) - A Japanese prison that wants to be known as more than just a forbidding place of punishment has decided to soften its image with a cuddly mascot. The debut of "Katakkuri-chan"—a 6-foot-6 figure in a warden's uniform with a huge purple flower for hair—helped draw... More »

Katie Beers' Captor Found Dead in Prison Cell

John Esposito's death doesn't appear suspicious

(Newser) - Another kidnapper is dead : John Esposito, the man convicted of holding a 10-year-old girl prisoner for 17 days in a suburban New York dungeon, was found dead in his Sing Sing prison cell last night, the state Department of Corrections said today. The death is under investigation but does not... More »

Orange Is the New Black Writer: Prison Plan Is Dumb

Piper Kerman says shipping female inmates across country is misguided

(Newser) - Piper Kerman might be one of the most popular ex-cons in the nation right now, thanks to Orange is the New Black, the Netflix series based on her memoir of prison life. Now that she's on the outside and working as a prisoners' advocate, Kerman is putting that clout... More »

Holder to Ax 'Draconian' Drug Sentences

For low-level offenders not associated with gangs or drug rings

(Newser) - Eric Holder is set to today to reveal what the Washington Post is calling the planned "cornerstone of the rest of his tenure": a revamp of federal prison policy. And one part of the overhaul—a big change to sentencing for low-level drug offenders—is getting a great deal... More »

OJ: I'm the Best Prisoner They Ever Had

Argues good behavior at parole hearing

(Newser) - After five years behind bars, OJ Simpson has had enough. In front of a parole board yesterday, Simpson argued for early release from prison, where he's serving a 33-year sentence for his conviction on a dozen charges stemming from an incident in which he said he "was trying... More »

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