Friday Roundup (One Day Early)
Above: Al-Jazeera English report on a prison orchestra in the Philippines
Along with the above video, this week’s roundup brings news from prisons around the world:
- Radio Prague on the history of Prague’s Pankrac prison
- Commentary from Australian judge against setting criminal justice policy by “law-and-order auction”
- Miami Herald report on hunger strikes in Cuban penitentiaries
And, back in the USA:
- Phoenix New Times report on suicide in the Arizona juvenile justice system
- Solitary Watch post on a California prisoner sent to solitary confinement for his choice of reading material
Lastly, the other day I was somewhat critical of media reporting on the ongoing prison conditions litigation in California, particularly the implication in some articles that California has been ordered by the federal courts to release 40,000+ prisoners en masse. So I thought I’d take a moment to thank Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers for his precise, accurate reporting. This article, as published in the Kansas City Star, shows it’s possible to write accessibly about complex litigation without distorting the legal issues:
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s effort to block a court order that the state’s overcrowded prisons reduce their population by about 40,000 inmates.
California-based federal judges had determined that the prison population needed to shrink in order to secure reasonable health care for inmates. Though formally called a “prisoner release order,” the judges’ mandate could be met through a variety of means, including parole revisions and sentencing reform. …
The three-judge panel ordered reducing the inmate population so that it would come within 137.5 percent of the prisons’ total design capacity. That amounts to between 38,000 and 46,000 inmates being released.
I’ll be taking a break from posting this weekend (hence the early Friday Roundup) but will be back early next week. In the meantime, happy Father’s Day!