Prison Labor Booms In US As Low-Cost Inmates Bring Billions (Video)


YouTube Added: 09.12.2012

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US breeds a Chinese-style inmate labor scheme on its own soil. Both state and some of the biggest private companies are now enjoying the fruits of a cheap and readily available work force, with tens of millions of dollars spent by private prisons to keep their jails full.

Six Million People Under Correctional Supervision In the US — More Than Were In Stalin’s Gulags

“Six million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.—more than were in Stalin’s gulags.”

– A Critic at Large The Caging of America Why do we lock up so many people? (The New Yorker, Jan. 30, 2012):

For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

Read moreSix Million People Under Correctional Supervision In the US — More Than Were In Stalin’s Gulags

Beyond Guantánamo, A Web Of Prisons For Terrorism Inmates


The federal prison in Florence, Colo., has long held terrorists. The justice system has absorbed a surge of terrorism cases since 2001 without the international criticism that Guantánamo Bay has attracted.

Beyond Guantánamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates (New York Times, Dec. 10, 2011)

WASHINGTON — It is the other Guantánamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads. Today, it houses far more men convicted in terrorism cases than the shrunken population of the prison in Cuba that has generated so much debate.

An aggressive prosecution strategy, aimed at prevention as much as punishment, has sent away scores of people. They serve long sentences, often in restrictive, Muslim-majority units, under intensive monitoring by prison officers. Their world is spare.

Among them is Ismail Royer, serving 20 years for helping friends go to an extremist training camp in Pakistan. In a letter from the highest-security prison in the United States, Mr. Royer describes his remarkable neighbors at twice-a-week outdoor exercise sessions, each prisoner alone in his own wire cage under the Colorado sky. “That’s really the only interaction I have with other inmates,” he wrote from the federal Supermax, 100 miles south of Denver.

There is Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, Mr. Royer wrote. Terry Nichols, who conspired to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building. Ahmed Ressam, the would-be “millennium bomber,” who plotted to attack Los Angeles International Airport. And Eric Rudolph, who bombed abortion clinics and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

In recent weeks, Congress has reignited an old debate, with some arguing that only military justice is appropriate for terrorist suspects. But military tribunals have proved excruciatingly slow and imprisonment at Guantánamo hugely costly — $800,000 per inmate a year, compared with $25,000 in federal prison.

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‘RoboCop’ Guards To Patrol South Korean Prisons

Robot guards with sensors to detect abnormal behaviour will soon begin patrolling South Korean prisons to ease the burden on their human counterparts, researchers said on Thursday.


Prison guard robot: Three robots will be tested at a correctional facility in the southeastern city of Pohang next March when development is completed Photo: EPA

‘RoboCop’ guards to patrol South Korean prisons (Telegraph, Nov. 24, 2011):

A group of scientists has developed the robot warders under a one billion won (£546,000) project organised by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

The robots – 1.5 metres (five feet) high and running on four wheels – will mostly be used at night.

They can connect prisoners with officers through a remote conversation function, according to a statement from the Asian Forum for Corrections (AFC), a South Korea-based group of researchers in criminality and prison policies.

Read more‘RoboCop’ Guards To Patrol South Korean Prisons

AND NOW … Daily Mail: ‘Safest Place For Black Men Is In Prison, Says Report That Found They Are Half As Likely To Die While Behind Bars’

Safest place for black men is in prison, says report that found they are half as likely to die while behind bars (Daily Mail,  July 31, 2011):

Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they’re in prison than if they aren’t, suggests a new report.

A study looking at inmates in North Carolina found that black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol and drug-related deaths, as well as lethal accidents and certain chronic diseases.

But that pattern didn’t hold for white men, who on the whole were slightly more likely to die in prison than outside, according to findings published in Annals of Epidemiology.

Researchers say it’s not the first time a study has found lower death rates among certain groups of inmates – particularly disadvantaged people, who might get protection against violent injuries and murder.

Read moreAND NOW … Daily Mail: ‘Safest Place For Black Men Is In Prison, Says Report That Found They Are Half As Likely To Die While Behind Bars’

Supreme Court Orders California To Free Up To 46,000 Prisoners, Because Of Chronic Overcrowding

Flashback:

Feb. 15, 2009: Cash crisis forces California to free 55,000 prisoners

Feb. 10, 2009: U.S. judges seek massive California prisoner release


Supreme Court orders California to free up to 46,000 prisoners (Telegraph, 23 May, 2011):

California has been ordered by the US Supreme Court to release up to 46,000 prisoners because of chronic overcrowding, despite one jail in the state only having only two inmates.

The Supreme Court said cramped conditions in the state’s prison system were causing “needless suffering and death.”

Read moreSupreme Court Orders California To Free Up To 46,000 Prisoners, Because Of Chronic Overcrowding

Yemen: Army Wounds 98 Students In Efforts To End University Protest – 2000 Prison Inmates Revolt

Two thousand inmates in Yemen jail revolt (Independent):

About 2,000 inmates have staged a revolt at a prison in the capital of Yemen, taken a dozen guards hostage and joined calls by anti-government protesters for the country’s president to step down, a Yemeni security official said.

He said the unrest in the Sanaa jail erupted late last night when prisoners set their mattresses ablaze and occupied the facility’s courtyard.

He said the guards fired tear gas and gunshots into the air but could not subdue the inmates.

The official said today that troops have beefed up security outside the prison. He added that a number of inmates were hurt in the unrest.


Yemen’s President moves against protesters seeking to unseat him as students and prisoners call for him to quit


An elderly protester holds up his dagger during a demonstration in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital; 98 were wounded, many critically, when the army tried to break up a sit-in at Sana’a University. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP

The Yemeni government escalated its efforts to stop mass protests yesterday calling for the president’s removal, with soldiers firing rubber bullets and tear gas at students camped at a university in the capital during a raid that left at least 98 people wounded, officials said.

The army stormed the Sana’a University campus hours after thousands of inmates rioted at the central prison in the capital, taking a dozen guards hostage and calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. At least one prisoner was killed and 80 people were wounded as the guards fought to control the situation, police said.

Read moreYemen: Army Wounds 98 Students In Efforts To End University Protest – 2000 Prison Inmates Revolt

US: Enlisting Prison Labor to Close Budget Gaps

We need to throw all Americans into prison to close the budget gaps these days.

Oh, and even that might be not enough.



Inmates at the California Institute for Men at Chino in training to perform underwater welding work.

JAY, Fla. — Before he went to jail, Danny Ivey had barely seen a backyard garden.

But here he was, two years left on his sentence for grand theft, bent over in a field, snapping wide, green collard leaves from their stems. For the rest of the week, Mr. Ivey and his fellow inmates would be eating the greens he picked, and the State of Florida would be saving most of the $2.29 a day it allots for their meals.

Prison labor — making license plates, picking up litter — is nothing new, and nearly all states have such programs. But these days, officials are expanding the practice to combat cuts in federal financing and dwindling tax revenue, using prisoners to paint vehicles, clean courthouses, sweep campsites and perform many other services done before the recession by private contractors or government employees.

In New Jersey, inmates on roadkill patrol clean deer carcasses from highways. Georgia inmates tend municipal graveyards. In Ohio, they paint their own cells. In California, prison officials hope to expand existing programs, including one in which wet-suit-clad inmates repair leaky public water tanks. There are no figures on how many prisoners have been enrolled in new or expanded programs nationwide, but experts in criminal justice have taken note of the increase.

Read moreUS: Enlisting Prison Labor to Close Budget Gaps

California Prison To Use New ‘Burning Laser Beam’ On Inmates


Non-lethal: The Assault Intervention Device emits invisible laser-like beam to trigger a brief burning sensation and is set to be installed at a detention centre

It looks like something out of a video game, but this monstrous machine could come in very handy for breaking up prison fights.

The Assault Intervention Device (AID) emits an invisible laser-like beam to trigger a brief but painful burning sensation and has been touted as a new type of Taser gun.

Officials plan to set up the machine in a detention centre dormitory in Castaic, California, although it has not yet been given the green light by its federal sponsor.

The AID was first unveiled last summer, but its federal backers – the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – have decided to review the project further before moving forward.

Non-lethal weapons such as ‘pain rays’ and Tasers are controversial and human rights groups fear they can be misused and may even be fatal on vulnerable people.

Read moreCalifornia Prison To Use New ‘Burning Laser Beam’ On Inmates

How to Destroy the Health of Prisoners: Soy Diet!

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Soy Diet for Illinois Prisoners

soybeans
Soybeans

When Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002, he immediately made a change in the prison diets. Beginning in January 2003, inmates began receiving a diet largely based on processed soy protein, with very little meat. In most meals, small amounts of meat or meat by-products are mixed with 60-70 percent soy protein; fake soy cheese has replaced real cheese; and soy flour or soy protein is now added to most of the baked goods.

The governor’s justification for replacing nutritious meat and cheese with toxic soy protein was financial-to lower the enormous costs of running the Illinois Department of Corrections. However, the likely reason is payback for campaign contributions from Archer Daniels Midland, the main supplier of soy products to the Illinois prisons.

Suffering of Inmates

Early in 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation began hearing from inmates who were suffering from a myriad of serious health problems due to the large amounts of soy in the diet. These prisoners had found us through the Soy Alert! section of our website. Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract, especially after consuming soy, passing out, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, insomnia, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and enlarged thyroid gland. Since soy contains anti-fertility compounds, many young prisoners may be unable to father children after their release.

The suffering of these men is intense and medical care is palliative at best. Many have had sections of their digestive tract removed, but all requests for a soy-free diet are denied. The men are told, “If you don’t like the food, don’t eat it.” That means that unless they can afford to purchase commissary food, they must eat the soy food or starve.

Lawsuit

The Weston A. Price Foundation has hired an attorney to represent several inmates incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections system. The Foundation’s attorney has entered his appearance on behalf of three inmates, has had contacts with several other inmates, has served several subpoenas upon the wardens of several facilities for documents and other information, and has informed the Court that additional inmates will soon be named in an amended complaint.

Read moreHow to Destroy the Health of Prisoners: Soy Diet!