A young caged teen in a Texas immigration camp is teaching other kids to change caged toddlers' diapers

At Ursula, an immigration facility in McAllen, TX, 500 children separated from their families are crammed 20 to a cage. It's home to kids of all ages, from toddlers to young teens (once a teen turns 18, they are magically converted into a criminal and moved to the adult facility). Read the rest

Laramie County, Wyoming Sheriffs' department blocks public records requests for their prison phone monopoly deal

Every crappy thing in the world is beta-tested on people who have little or no power, perfected, and brought to the rest of us -- CCTV starts with prisoners, moves to mental institutions, then to schools, then to blue-collar workplaces, then airports, then white-collar workplaces, then everywhere. Read the rest

Google announces ad-ban for sleazy bail-bonds companies

In 2016, Google banned ads for payday lenders; now it has followed up with a ban on another predatory industry: for-profit bail bondsmen, who rip off black people and poor people with deceptive financing terms that are designed to create a usurious cycle of permanent debt. (Image: Sarah Nichols/CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

Forced prison labor put downward pressure on wages at American companies, worsening inequality

In Economic Consequences of the U.S. Convict Labor System, UCLA economist Michael Poyker uses data on prisons and their surrounding areas from 1850 to 1950 to examine the role that free/extremely low-waged forced convict labor had on wages. Read the rest

UK police train machine-learning model using Experian data that stereotypes people based on garden size, first names, and postal codes

The police in Durham, England bought a license to the "Mosiac" dataset from the credit bureau Experian, which includes data on 50,000,000 Britons, in order to train a machine learning system called HART ("Harm Assessment Risk Tool") that tries to predict whether someone will reoffend. Read the rest

John Boehner pledged eternal support for imprisoning marijuana users, now he's in the legal weed business

When John Boehner was Speaker of the House, he described himself as "unalterably opposed" to marijuana legalization, a posture that contributed to the criminalization, imprisonment and ruination of millions of Americans. Read the rest

Lawsuit reveals the deadly, out-of-control free-for-all inside Red State America's for-profit prisons

The Management & Training Corporation operates two federal prisons and 20 more state/local prisons around America; previously, it has been censured by Arizona for its role in deadly prison riots; now, the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center are suing the state of Mississippi over the violence, neglect, and rampant human rights abuses at Management & Training's East Mississippi Correctional Facility, near Meridian in Lauderdale County.

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Alabama Sheriff legally appropriated $750K from prison meal budgets to build himself a beach house, locked up his whistleblowing gardener

Etowah, Alabama County Sheriff Todd Entrekin took advantage of a Great-Depression-era rule that lets the sheriff pocket any "excess" from the budget for prisoner meals (provided he makes up any shortfall from his own finances) and used $750,000 that had been allocated to feed prisoners to build himself a luxury beach house. When his gardener tipped off a Birmingham News reporter, the gardener was locked up in the Sheriff's jail on mysterious drug charges. Read the rest

British court rules that the inhumane conditions in American prisons mean UK hacking suspect can't be legally extradited

Lauri Love is a British man on the autism spectrum who also has depression and severe eczema, who was facing extradition to America on charges of hacking US military and private agencies. Read the rest

Inmate, denied health care in an Arizona private prison, chews his own fingers off

An unnamed, paralyzed prisoner in one of Corizon Correctional Healthcare's for-profit prisons in Arizona chewed part of his left hand off because Corizon refused to give him the correct medication for his pain. Read the rest

Seven years after attempting to rip off Ken "Popehat" White, fraudster gets 108-month federal prison sentence

It's been seven years since I started following Ken "Popehat" White's relentless pursuit of a con artist who sent his company a fake invoice. Read the rest

The GOP tax plan means millions in extra profits for private prison corporations

The new GOP tax plan slashes the taxes on real estate investment trusts (REITS) by a quarter, dropping the rate from 39.6% down to 29.6% -- a move that will put tens of millions of dollars in the pockets of investors in America's notorious private prisons. Read the rest

Mass incarceration and disenfranchisement of brown people was the key to GOP control in Alabama, but thanks to criminal justice reform, black people can vote against child-molester Roy Moore

During Roy Moore's judicial bouts -- punctuated by frequent removals from the bench for gross misconduct -- he was part of the mass incarceration wave in America, which has resulted in millions of black people being thrown in prison on flimsy pretenses for long sentences, while whites in similar situations have gone free. Read the rest

Ohio Republicans create winnable electoral districts by siting nonvoting prisons near friendly voters

91% of the prisoners in Ohio are in Republican districts: they aren't allowed to vote, but they are counted in the census, creating winnable districts with tiny voting populations that would otherwise be included with large groups of nearby Democratic voters. Read the rest

Trump's “free market” FCC loves monopolies, especially when they rip off prisoners' families

The American prison system is home to one of the greatest market-failures in the history of telephony (which is saying something): a monopolistic system in which sole-supplier, hedge-fund owned telcoms operators charge as much as $14/minute for prisoners to talk with their lawyers, families and loved ones. Read the rest

Florida Sheriff warns storm victims to expect warrant checks at hurricane shelters

Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff, 1-800-226-0344) is the Sheriff of Polk County, FL, in the path of Hurricane Irma; his emergency communications have included repeated warnings to Floridians with outstanding warrants that they will not be welcomed at the state's shelters, and can expect to have their warrant status checked before admission to a shelter, and to be taken to jail if they have warrants outstanding. Read the rest

Donald Trump has ushered in a "golden age of private prisons"

With Donald Trump reversing Obama's ban on the use of private prisons for federal prisoners and vowing to deport 11 million people; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing prosecutors to seek long prison sentences for minor offenses, the investor community could not be more bullish on the private prison sector. Read the rest

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