Radical media, politics and culture.

Prisons & Prisoners

DaaaihLoong writes: "You're in the Hole

A Crackdown on Dissident Prisoners

by Anne-Marie Cusac

On October 31, the Department of Justice published new rules,
upon publication," that "impose special administrative measures with
to specified inmates." The document, entitled "National Security:
of Acts of Violence and Terrorism," was signed by Attorney General John
Ashcroft on October 26 and published in the Federal Register.

The rules also characterize the attorney
disseminating information for a prisoner who's been deemed a national
security threat."

Several political prisoners, including Marilyn Buck, Sundiata Acolia, Philip Berrigan and Carlos Torres, have already been placed in segregation and held incommunicado under these new regulations.

For the full story, go to:


DaaaihLoong writes: "The Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department will begin monitoring conversations betweeen detainees in federal custody and their lawyers. Attorney General Ashcroft approved the eavesdropping rule on without the usual waiting period for public

Rule on Detainees Called 'Terrifying'

By George Lardner Jr.

The Justice Department has decided to listen in on the conversations of
lawyers with clients in federal custody, including people who have been
detained but not charged with any crime, whenever that is deemed
necessary to prevent violence or terrorism.

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft approved the eavesdropping rule on an
emergency basis last week, without the usual waiting period for public
comment. It went into effect immediately, permitting the government to
monitor conversations and intercept mail between people in custody and
their attorneys for up to a year at a time."

Daaaih Loong writes: "On November 6 the Wall Street Journal (subscription only) posted an article by Joseph Hallinan on the bail-out of failing private prisons by the Federal Government.

Federal Government Saves Private Prisons As State Convict Population Levels Off

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. -- Like pioneers from an earlier time,
Corp. of America nearly met its demise here in the Mojave Desert.

The private-prison operator spent $106 million in 1998 to build a giant
prison in the sand, confident it would land a contract to house
prisoners. What CCA officials didn't anticipate, however, was a sudden
in the growth of California's prison population and fierce opposition
unionized state prison guards worried about their jobs. The prison
empty and helped push CCA, then struggling with management problems and
mounting debt, to the brink of financial disaster.

The company's desperation should have presented an opportunity to Uncle
While state prison populations appeared to be leveling off, the head
in federal prisons were growing more rapidly than ever, fueled by
drug and immigration laws. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons needed more beds,
the empty prison here offered immediately available capacity.
the bureau could negotiate a fire-sale price.

shoplift writes: "The International Corrections and Prison Association, a new group affiliated with the United Nations, recently finished its annual conference in Australia. The professional group is aggressively reformist and its trajectory is not yet clear. Its formation was preceded by the "Beyond Prisons" international symposium held in Canada, in March 1998. The symposium included a speech given by Stephen Carter, a principal at Carter Goble Associates, the least zealous architectural programming firm specializing in jails and prisons. The complete text can be found at www.icpa.ca.

"An entire paradigm shift is required in the perception and promotion of violence by citizens, elected officials, and information peddlers if the United States is to wean herself from a virtual complete reliance upon one form of community control. However, the change cannot be abrupt due to the massive existing investment in a national infrastructure that promotes the use of incarceration, but alternatives must continue to be debated and tested which expand awareness of the high cost-low return axis that currently defines our national policy.

aras writes: "Today Turkish police made a brutal operation at Kucukarmutlu where people continue hunger strikes against new prison system. According to mainstream newspapers police used panzers and construction machines to break the barricades in the neighbourhood and opened fire. As a result of the clashes 4 people died in the operation; one of them a woman on the 152nd day of her hunger strike. Newspapers report that she burned herself upon the intervention of police. Kucukarmutlu is a slum area where a lot of radical leftists live. People put their houses on fire as a reaction to the police; 14 people were hospitalized and 13 people were arrested. A lot of houses were damaged, one completely burned down.

By this last event the death toll in the hunger strikes is now 74. Last year police made a similar brutal operation on the prisons where hunger strikes started, during which 16 people were killed."

Daaaih Loong writes

"The Sherburne County, Minn., jail is among a number of
correctional facilities in the United States that have begun
using video visitation technology. Video visitation allows
prisoners and visitors to speak to one another's video
images rather than meet face to face, and many authorities
support the application of the technology because it
prevents any exchange of contraband between prisoners and
visitors and cuts down on the number of personnel needed to
guard meetings.

However, some civil rights activists believe
that prisoners need the face-to-face experience of personal
visits to be prepared for re-entering society, while certain
prisoners say using the system makes them feel that someone
is always watching or listening. Sherburne County has been
operating the system for over the year, with 58 cameras and
screens. Other prisons with comparable set-ups include Blue
Earth and Dakota counties, and the Minnesota Department of
Corrections reports that five or more additional counties
intend to install systems.

shoplift writes: "As the detainee and prisoner population exploded to more than two million, the county jail started to disappear from the American landscape. Through the labors of specialized designers known as a ‘justice architects,’ today’s county jail is likely to appear to be a warehouse, tucked away in the industrial area of town. In a newer approach, designers superimpose faux-glass facades over concrete walls to make a jail look like a downtown office building. Tacoma, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and points between have cloaked their jails with detached architectural imagery to strip them of their social context.

This perversion of reality slowly grows more extreme and Disneyesque. A planned jail near Colonial Williamsburg is designed to blend in with the existing historic architecture. Soon, tourists can gag for photos in the 18th century stocks without being disturbed by the notion of a 21st century jail.

Aras writes: "There is a fine article on hunger strikes in Turkey in this Sunday's NY Times Magazine. Hunger strikes against the new F-Type isolation prisons and other human rights violations have been continuing since last year and 74 people died until now (according to the Turkish Human Rights Association). There will be more deaths, since the government refuses to consider peoples demands and simply ignore such a big resistance.
Here is the link to NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/21/magazine/21HUNGE R.html"

Smokey the Bear writes: "Corrupt chemist raises fears that innocents were executed

Dallas Morning News

The discovery that Oklahoma City police chemist Joyce Gilchrist
gave false and misleading testimony for 21 years
has authorities
searching for innocent people behind bars. Her case has also
raised concern about the 23 people she helped send to death row.

DaaaihLoong writes: "The New York Post published the following article on October 4:



October 4, 2001 -- America's new wall of homeland security is creating
a big
demand for cells to hold suspects and illegal aliens who might be
rounded up.

Stocks of private companies that build and operate prisons for
have zoomed as high as 300 percent in anticipation of internment camps
and new

"Unfortunately, these are becoming good investments," said James
MacDonald, a
prisons-security analyst at First Analysts Securities.


Subscribe to Prisons & Prisoners