Friday Roundup (on Saturday)
It’s been awhile, but here’s a roundup of prison/jail news around the country:
- Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Jail facing an FBI investigation and several civil lawsuits. One suit alleges “a guard locked an inmate in a cell and watched as five other inmates beat and sodomized him.”
- Coverage of the ongoing California prison hunger strike in the SF Chronicle and the New York Times. Says one Pelican Bay prisoner: “there is a core group of us who are committed to taking this all the way to the death if necessary.” The NYT also points to some of the legal issues raised by hunger strikes, such as the prisoner’s right to refuse medical treatment.
- Are families of Michigan prisoners being gouged on phone bills to pay for fancy cell phone detection equipment?
- Michigan inmate challenges jail no-porn rule. While many have written off this lawsuit as frivolous, Salon points out that studies don’t show that porn causes aggression (the typical rationale offered by prison officials for bans).
- One more for the “jails have become our default mental health hospitals” file.
- The Republican Party’s born-again prison reformers. (Here’s how it’s playing in Arkansas.)
- Bill to end the death penalty in California passes the Assembly.
- The Arizona Republic visits former NFL player Luis Sharpe in prison.
- “Five prison reform bills being ignored on Capitol Hill.”
- Controversy in the UK over public funding of legal aid for prisoners.
- The Stanford Prison Experiment, 40 years later.