WikiLeaks Suspect Faces Long Stay in Pretrial Solitary Confinement

“The Army private charged with leaking an airstrike video and downloading documents remained in solitary confinement Saturday,” according to CNN. “Military officials told CNN that Pfc. Bradley Manning is also the prime suspect in the latest leak of documents to the WikiLeaks website.” The 22-year old military intelligence analyst was arrested in Iraq in May […]

No Legal Defense for the Poor

Even among advocates of criminal justice reform, most (ourselves included) tend to focus on the draconian punishments that await the convicted–when in practice, it is the trial process that finishes off the accused, who is sold down the river after going through a mockery of justice. The crisis in defense of the indigent informs much of the […]

Prison Heat: Hunger Strike Highlights Summer's Deadly Toll on U.S. Inmates

As heatwaves swept the Northeast earlier this month, 30 inmates in solitary confinement at New Hampshire State Prison went on hunger strike to protest stifling temperatures inside the prison’s Special Housing Unit. According to the Concord Monitor, “Inmates in SHU cannot open windows and must remain in their cells, usually alone, for 23 hours a day. Unlike inmates in […]

Judge Rules Procedures at Tamms Supermax Violate Constitution

A federal judge yesterday ruled that current procedures for sending prisoners to the Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois–and keeping them there indefinitely–is in violation of the 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution, which guarantees due process of law. The judge ordered that significant changes be made at the notorious state supermax. George Pawlaczyk, whose award-winning coverage last year exposed […]

"Torture Memo" Author Says He Authorized Waterboarding, But Not "Extended Solitary Confinement"

According to Congressional testimony released yesterday, the former official in Bush’s Justice Department who co-authored the most famous of the “torture memos,” said he had sanctioned certain harsh “interrogation techniques” used by the CIA on terrorism suspects, but not others. As the Los Angeles Times reported, “Jay S. Bybee, former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, said in […]

A Supermax Prisoner's Film from Hell

Last night HBO ran a documentary shot by an inmate living in solitary confinement at New Jersey’s Northern State Prison in Newark. The prisoner, Omar Broadway, a member of the Bloods gang, had served 7 years in solitary on various felony charges in the prison’s Security Threat Group Management Unit. Sympathetic guards smuggled a camera into his cell, […]

Clarence Thomas "Outraged" by Treatment of His Nephew, But Condones the Same for Thousands of Others

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was reportedly “completely shocked and outraged” when he learned that his nephew, who suffers from epilepsy and was reportedly suicidal, was beaten and tased with a stun gun at a Louisiana hospital–apparently, for nothing more than some unruly behavior. “Outraged” we can understand: What happened to 24-year-old Derek Thomas does qualify as outrageous. […]

LGBT Kids in Prison Face Rape, Beatings, and Isolation

CHILDREN IN LOCKDOWN “Across the United States, the brutal and dysfunctional juvenile justice system sends queer youth to prison in disproportionate numbers, fails to protect them from violence and discrimination while they’re inside and to this day condones attempts to turn them straight,”  writes Daniel Redman in a powerful article on LGBT youth behind bars, which appeared […]