Prison News Roundup

27 Apr

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting sheds some light on lousy health care in some Massachusetts jails and prisons; at least Massachusetts hasn’t started charging inmate co-pays like a few prisons in nearby Pennsylvania. The BBC reports that seven in ten foreign prisoners in US prisons are Mexicans. Fluvanna (VA) Correctional Center for Women has one of the nation’s highest rates of in-prison sexual assault. Republican governors just love privatizing prisons, with Florida, Maine, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Ohio considering selling off their correctional institutions, though Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal is thinking twice. Maybe someone told him that private prisons don’t necessarily save states money, though they do create a racketeer’s paradise.  Inside the “Communication Management Units,” the new and deeply problematic kind of prison unit authorized by the Bush Administration in 2006, where communication with the outside world is even more deeply circumscribed than in other units. Inside Norway’s eco-prison, where inmates roam free, live in cabins, and keep chickens. (It’s not liberalism, just good resource management, says the Norwegian government, and considering the medical costs associated with long-term inactivity and sunlight deprivation, they may be right.) A review of a new book by Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a former Black Panther locked up since the ’70s, who claims to be yet another victim of the era’s war on activists’ civil liberties.

New York state prisons are allowing same-sex conjugal visitations, so that’s something, at least.

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