In her new memoir of her year in a minimum-security federal women’s prison — which the author admits is pretty much the best-case scenario if you have to do time in America — Piper Kerman recalls, “No one who worked in ‘corrections’ appeared to give any thought to the purpose of our being there, any more than a warehouse clerk would consider the meaning of a can of tomatoes, or try to help those tomatoes understand what the hell they were doing on the shelf.” The whole interview is well worth reading, and I look forward to reading Piper Kerman’s book.
With that, a sampling of this week’s news from the world of warehousing people:
- Former New York inmate on Census gerrymandering: “Knowing that they counted me in Attica was a shock to me. It’s not fair because we don’t use their services. We’re being counted just for a political purpose.”
- D.C. Council debates: Is it better to release inmates during the day or overnight?
- Transgender inmates have a right to hormone therapy, says federal judge in striking Wisconsin law.
- California juvenile justice system: Update on reform progress after 2004 class-action settlement.
- California (ex-) prison guard pleads guilty to smuggling contraband into Folsom.
- Tension in Florida over its new Blackwater prison (yes, that Blackwater).
- Mississippi Supreme Court to review life without parole sentence for 13-year-old child.
- How New Hampshire will fund prison reform: $900K in federal stimulus funds for reentry; $1.1 mil in grants and savings for supervision of high-risk ex-offenders.
- Seeking solutions to rising prison medical costs in two Ohio counties.
- “Prison-made handbags prove popular beyond Beirut.”
- Indian nun pushes for “open prisons.”