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

Escaping prison with D&D

"Escaping Prison with Dungeons & Dragons" is a moving, 10-minute documentary about prisoners who used tabletop role-playing games to survive their incarceration. Read the rest

SLIM: An open, transparent, hand-computable sentencing algorithm

Machine learning companies are making big bucks selling opaque, secretive sentencing algorithm tools to America's court systems: the vendors of these systems claim that they are too sophisticated to explain, and use that opacity to dismiss critics who say the algorithms oversentence black and poor people. Read the rest

UK prison deploys active anti-drone countermeasures to fight contraband smuggling

A UK weapons company called Drone Defence has sold an anti-drone product to Les Nicolles prison on Guernsey that will use 20 nonspecific "disruptors" to do something to drones that will stop them from overflying the prison and smuggling in contraband. Read the rest

Jeff Sessions orders prosecutors to charge Americans "with the most serious offense you can prove"

Racist, perjuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued guidance to federal prosecutors, ordering them to charge the people they will face in court with "the most serious offense you can prove," paving the way for a surge in America's already-shameful record of racially biased, family destroying, community-devastating, private-prison-enriching mass incarceration, which already outstrips the rates of incarceration in Apartheid-era South Africa, China and the USSR. Read the rest

What's inside a phone that's designed to fit inside your rectum?

On Hackaday, Alasdair Allan documents the ingenious techniques employed in the creation of the Beat the Boss Phone, a tiny, lozenge-shaped phone (with a voice-changer) that is designed to be smuggled past the BOSS metal detectors used in UK prisons in the rectums of prisoners. Read the rest

Jeff Sessions wants to bring back long mandatory prison sentences for minor drug offenses

Donald Trump's racist, perjuring Attorney General, former senator Jefferson Sessions, was signaled that he will reverse Obama-era AG Eric Holder's memo that told federal prosecutors not to bring charges against petty drug offenders, because these crime carry absurd minimum sentences that resulted in America imprisoning a greater proportion of its population than any country in the history of the world, including the USSR and Apartheid-era South Africa. Read the rest

In America, "proximity and shared values" is all it takes to turn protesters into felons

On inauguration day, 214 protesters were arrested in DC on felony riot charges, and now they face up to $25,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison, though no one -- not the cops, not the prosecutors -- believes that more than a handful were involved in property damage or disorderly conduct. Read the rest

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.

Snip:

[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

...

“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”

“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”

Read the rest

Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest

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