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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The Youth Court of Pearl, Mississippi has been shut down and its judge, John Shirley (also a Republican Party activist) has been forced to resign after widespread disapproval of his decision to bar a mother from seeing her 4-month-old baby for 14 months over her unpaid court fees.
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In June, Chokwe Lumumba, Jr. was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi on a platform that promised to make it the "most radical city on the planet;" this week, Randall Woodfin creamed incumbent opponent William Bell in the mayoral race for Birmingham, Alabama, with a platform that promised free community college for Birmingham high-school grads, expanded pre-K, and more money for public transit and job training. Read the rest
The workers at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi are attempting to organize under the United Auto Workers, but Nissan is fighting the "nastiest anti-union campaign" in modern history, breaking the law so egregiously that even Trump's National Labor Relations Board has filed a series of complaints against the company. Read the rest
Towns in Mississippi and other Tea Party-ruled states with large (often private) prison industries are totally reliant on state/fed funding transfers to local prisons for cash and jobs, forced prison labor to provide local services for free, and War on Drugs arrests and minimum sentencing to fill those jails. The first tiny steps toward criminal justice reform have eroded the underpinnings of the whole system, leaving the towns facing collapse. Read the rest
Nicole Nichols' 8-year-old daughter has diabetes; Nichols and her husband have come to rely on Medicaid to help supply life-saving essential medication for their daughter, because their two salaries are insufficient to cover their medical bills, which run in excess of $2000 month in out-of-pocket expenses. Read the rest
It's been nearly a year since Tony Yarber, pastor and mayor of Jackson, Mississippi capital and largest city in the state, tweeted that he believed he could pray away potholes, citing Moses's alleged parting of the Red Sea as precedent. Read the rest
If you're poor in Jackson, MS and you get a fine that you can't pay, the City of Jackson will sentence you to a "pay or stay" forced labor farm where you will work off your debts at $58/day literally shoveling shit; the alternative is to sit in an overcrowded, jail notorious for its violent guards and filthy conditions and pay down your fines at $25/day. Read the rest
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "Public.Resource.Org is pleased to announce the launch of the 2014 Official Summer of Code!
We've selected 3 states -- Georgia, Idaho, and Mississippi -- and are raising funds
to have the Official Legal Codes sent down to the Internet Archive to be scanned and made
available to all. Your tax-deductible contribution can help make the law available to
the people! Find out more at: YesWeScan.Org/ Read the rest
A bill introduced in the Missouri legislature by Rick Brattin is a genuinely bizarre attempt to cram religion into the state's science curriculum. In what must have seen to Mr Brattin as a very clever move, the bill redefines what science is to include religion ("'Scientific theory,' an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.") (emphasis mine). The bill just gets weirder from there.
If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught. If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.
In other words, equal time for the leading scientific idea and intelligent design, but never mention who the designer might be. And not just equal time, but equal pages; the bill literally mandates that "course textbooks contain approximately an equal number of pages of relevant material teaching each viewpoint." Brattin is at least aware no textbooks actually have anything on "biological intelligent design," so he wants the state to identify "nine individuals who are knowledgeable of science and intelligent design" to create supplementary materials for use until the textbook publishers get in line.
It's just a bill, not a law, but as John Timmer points out, bills that are very nearly this stupid have already passed in Louisiana and Tennessee. Read the rest