Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Posts Tagged ‘rikers island

A Few More Links on Prison/Jail Emergency Preparedness

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Sociological Images has two posts related to yesterday’s discussion about Hurricane Irene and Rikers Island:

And the Constitutional Law Blog discusses the legal implications of prison emergency planning here.

Written by sara

August 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

Rikers Island and Irene

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A flurry of concern on Twitter yesterday & today about Bloomberg’s announcement that Rikers Island would not be evacuated as Hurricane Irene headed towards NYC. [Full story after the jump.] Read the rest of this entry »

Attention Journalists, Sociologists, Grad Students, etc.: Spotlight Needed on the Nation’s Local Jails

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Rikers Island, America's largest psychiatric facility (photo: Paul Lowry)

Although this blog is titled Prison Law Blog, I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t put jail into the title somewhere. I’ve blogged before about how Rikers Island has become America’s largest mental health facility (more here), and about the myriad problems that plague the nation’s overcrowded, underfunded local jails. In the new Daedalus issue on mass incarceration that I mentioned last week, Loic Wacquant argues that students of the American criminal justice system would do well to turn their focus on jails:

As a result of intensified policing coupled with a rising propensity to confine miscreants, American jails have become gargantuan operations processing a dozen million bodies each year nationwide, as well as huge drains on the budgets of counties and pivotal institutions in the lives of the (sub)proletariat of the big cities. Indeed, because they treat vastly more people than do prisons, under conditions that are more chaotic due to high turnover, endemic overcrowding, population heterogeneity, and the administrative shift to bare-bones managerialism (the two top priorities of jail wardens are to minimize violent incidents and to hold down staff overtime), jails create more social disruption and family turmoil at the bottom of the urban order than do prisons. Yet they have remained largely under the radar of researchers and policy analysts alike.

Wacquant’s comments ring especially true with respect to places like New Orleans that have relied heavily on detention as both a crime control strategy for serious crimes (though often without charges ever being filed) and a revenue generation strategy for minor offenses, as described in this recent Crime Report interview: Read the rest of this entry »

“Lil Wayne Goes to Jail”

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That’s the cover story for the current issue of Rolling Stone, which I noticed the other day in the grocery store checkout aisle. The 27-year-old New Orleans native will be serving at least eight months on a New York state charge for illegal gun possession. The full RS article doesn’t seem to be posted online, but it sounds from the online preview like the prolific rap star is not planning to let his stint behind bars put a dent in his career:

“I don’t like to stop,” Wayne tells RS’ Chris Norris. “I believe you stop when you die.” So in the weeks before he reports to Rikers Island, Wayne is keeping busy — recording tracks bound for Tha Carter IV (the album Cash Money staffers call “C4″ because it’ll be the bomb), shooting videos with his Young Money protégés, spending time with his growing family, and deliberately not asking anyone for advice about life on the inside. “This is Lil Wayne going to jail. Nobody I can talk to can tell me what that’s like,” he says. “I just say I’m looking forward to it.”

While Weezy’s away, his label is relocating to New York to be near him, and his manager Cortez Bryant is exploring ways to keep Wayne in his fans’ minds for the duration — from jailhouse Twitter accounts to endorsements. “I’ll have an iPod, and I’ll make sure they keep sending me beats,” Lil Wayne says. Tha Carter IV — which Norris is told features tougher, faster beats — is scheduled to arrive shortly after he gets out.

Actually Lil Wayne was supposed to head to Rikers earlier this month, but got his sentencing postponed to accommodate an oral surgery appointment; his new court date is March 2. I’m always curious about what, if any, effect celebrity prison stints such as this will have upon the national dialogue about mass incarceration. Obviously, most inmates do not have the luxury of their employer relocating to be near their jail, and I’m not entirely sure what a “jailhouse Twitter account” would entail. But, even if Lil Wayne is not going to have the typical experience behind bars, perhaps his highly public jail term will get his millions of fans thinking about America’s prison complex. Any thoughts, readers?

Written by sara

February 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

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