11 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Jails In America

Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

11 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Jails In America

A new report by the Vera Institute of Justice that shows just how costly jail stays can be for inmates, for their communities, and for taxpayers.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit Vera Institute for Justice published a new report on the state of jails in the United States.

Based on a large-scale analysis of government statistics, original research, and a review of existent literature, the report found that many more people pass through local jails than through federal prisons.

It also found that a large percentage of jail inmates come from marginalized populations, that they often remain in jail simply because of lack of money, and that even a short stint behind bars can have profound negative effects on a person’s life.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. There are…

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Real Life Stats Behind Women in Prison, ‘Orange is the New Black’

Originally posted on Fusion:

The United States has 2.3 million people behind bars, we have the world’s highest incarceration rate. We even have more people in prison in the U.S. than in China, where they have four times the population.

The series “Orange is the New Black” is based on a true experience that follows women in prison, which is one of the fastest growing prison populations. So, it’s only appropriate that one day before the premiere of the second season of “Orange is the New Black” we look at some of the numbers of women in prison.

The number of women in prison increased by 646 percent between 1980 and 2010, rising from 15,118 to 112,797.
If we include local jails, more than 205,000 women are now incarcerated. The female prison population is increasing at nearly double the rate for men.
(The Sentencing Project-PDF)

Two thirds of women in prison are there for…

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“Urge Arkansas Governor to Grant Clemency to Belynda Goff”

Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:


Urge Arkansas Governor to Grant Clemency to Belynda Goff


Belynda Goff is seeking clemency from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe for her two decades old murder conviction for the killing of her husband, Stephen. Stephen, who Belynda awoke to find lying unconscious just inside the doorway of their apartment, had been allegedly involved in an arson scheme at the time of his death and had told Beynda’s brother that he feared for his life. Despite there being no murder weapon found inside the apartment, no witness claiming she was the killer and no physical evidence linking her to the murder, Belynda became the target of the investigation and was eventually tried and convicted.

The Innocence Project has been fighting for and eventually won DNA testing in Belynda’s case. While we were seeking testing, however, crucial pieces of evidence were lost. While we are moving forward with DNA testing on the remaining…

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America’s Worst Sheriff Faces New Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

America’s Worst Sheriff Faces New Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks to the media at the Sheriff's office in Phoenix

Maricopa County has paid millions of dollars in settlements due to wrongful deaths of detainees by the sheriff department. In addition, the Justice Department has accused Sheriff Arpaio and his staff of conducting widespread racial profiling, ignoring rape cases, using racial slurs, assaulting pregnant women, and forcing women to sleep in their own menstrual blood.

The mother of a deceased inmate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio. Found guilty of racial profiling in federal court and under Justice Department investigation, Sheriff Joe Arpaio oversees Arizona jails that have twice been ruled unconstitutional due to mistreatment and inhumane conditions. First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio has cost Maricopa County millions of dollars in settlements resulting from his campaign of abuse and…

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Reporting Human Rights Violations: A How-to Guide for Prisoners

Originally posted on Children in Prison WHY THEY ARE THERE?:

Reporting Human Rights Violations: A How-to Guide for Prisoners

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Reporting Human Rights Violations: A How-to Guide for PrisonersThe following guide, published by the Human Rights Coalition, offers guidelines for prisoners on reporting human rights violations. The method described is simple, requiring documentation, intervention, and movement-building:

[W]e learn the truth by gathering evidence (documentation); we take action according to the urgency of the situation and our capacity to move people (intervention); and we bring others on board and inspire each other with a collective vision of popular struggle (movement-building).

Elaborating on these items, the guide goes on:

The stronger our evidentiary basis, the greater the knowledge of the movement, which generates greater commitment and more effective action.  This in turn builds the movement and the cycle of organizing repeats itself, only on a higher level.

Read on for more on defending the human rights of people…

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Amy Buckley in Mississippi prison: I will not give up until I receive the medical care I deserve

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

by Amy Buckley

On July 18, 2014, I was told to pack and was transferred to Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Miss. Since I was not informed as to why I was being transferred, I have surmised that it was for medical purposes because I had abnormal results on some recent lab work.

On the outside, the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Miss., looks as miserable as it feels on the inside. – Photo: WAPT

I originally left this compound on Sept. 24, 2010, with the hope of never seeing it again, but here I sit. I wish I could say that things here have improved. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

CMCF is the processing center for all men and women coming into the prison system. This facility also houses just over 2,300 men long-term and less than 1,000 women who are compound-restricted due to medical conditions such as AIDS, pregnancy and heart problems and those with life sentences. Sadly, this is one of the worst – it is the…

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California Women Prisonerz – SHU Deathz and Suicidez – Support Investigation

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

Please contact the politicians and CDCR representatives listed at the end of this press release to

FAMILIES AND ADVOCATES CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO MULTIPLE 2014 DEATHS AND SUICIDES AT CALIFORNIA INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN (CIW)

Being in physical distress locked in a cell turns into a truly terrifying experience when you can hear the cops banter with each other about you being a “crybaby”…and “they’ll get to it” when they have finished cutting it up with each other. It’s especially terrifying when you are experiencing symptoms you don’t understand & you have witnessed others calling for help only to learn that person didn’t survive.

-Sonja Marcus, formerly incarcerated woman, survived 18 years in prison

On July 30, 2014 a woman committed suicide in the Solitary Housing Unit (SHU) of the California Institution for Women (CIW), in Corona. According to information gathered by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), there have…

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