Police, prison and abolition

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Thu May 02, 2019 1:31 pm

California Tried to Fix Its Prisons. Now County Jails Are More Deadly.
In a 48-hour stretch during January 2018, three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail. One was beaten into a coma. Two died soon afterward. Their cases kicked off a nightmarish year in a local jail where problems trace back to California’s sweeping 2011 prison downsizing and criminal justice reforms.
by Jason Pohl, The Sacramento Bee, and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica April 24, 5 a.m. EDT

Crisis in California Jails

This article was produced in partnership with The Sacramento Bee, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

This story is part of an ongoing investigation into the crisis in California’s jails. Sign up for the Overcorrection newsletter to receive updates in this series as soon as they publish.

FRESNO, Calif. — On the night of Jan. 17, 2018, Lorenzo Herrera walked into the Fresno County Jail booking area and sat down for an interview. Yes, he had a gang history, an officer wrote on his intake form. But Herrera, 19, said he did not expect problems with others inside the gang pod he’d soon call home.

His parents had encouraged him to barter for books and newspapers — anything he could to preoccupy himself until his trial on burglary and assault charges. His father, Carlos Herrera, offered advice: “Just be careful, and only trust yourself.”

Herrera survived the violent chaos of the Fresno County Jail for 66 days, including living through a brawl that left another inmate unconscious. Then, on an afternoon in March, jail officers found him strangled.

Herrera didn’t get a trial or a plea deal. He got a death sentence, his parents say. And even now, no one at the jail seems to know what happened.

The evening before Herrera entered the jail, Ernest Brock, 20, was also arrested and booked pending trial. Officers put him in a cell with a psychotic inmate accused of rape who had refused to take medication and was beating his head against the walls. Brock made it three days inside before the cellmate choked him into a coma.

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Yet a third inmate arrived soon after Brock, booked for a five-year-old probation violation. Andre Erkins, 30, writhed in pain for hours before dying of previously undetected cardiac disease. The jail staff failed to notice his worsening health until it was too late.

Three bookings within 48 hours. Three young men jailed for different reasons. Three people who walked into the overcrowded Fresno County Jail and left on gurneys, dead or barely alive.

The fates of Herrera, Brock and Erkins set the stage for the deadliest year in at least two decades at the jail, a sprawling complex of jam-packed cells, filled with inmates working their way through a clogged criminal justice system.

Eleven inmates died last year from drug and alcohol withdrawal, suicide, medical complications and murder. Thirteen other people were beaten and hospitalized for multiple days.

The increase in violence and death in Fresno started soon after the state was ordered in 2011 by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population. That’s when California officials approved sweeping reforms called “realignment,” shifting responsibility for thousands of offenders from state prisons to county jails.

While decreasing the overload in state prisons, the results in many county jails have been deadly. An investigation by McClatchy and ProPublica has found that many county jails have struggled to handle the influx of violent and mentally ill inmates incarcerated for longer sentences than ever before. As a result, inmates are dying in markedly higher numbers.


https://www.propublica.org/article/cali ... ail-deaths

Much more to this at link.

Over-correction, miscalculation, or a budgetary fix with no thought of consequences?
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Mon May 06, 2019 1:57 pm

People in Alabama Prisons Are Shackled to Buckets for Days on End

In a 1995 photo, prisoners on a chain gang are taken out for work detail by an armed guard at the Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Alabama.
Ella Fassler, Truthout
May 5, 2019

On March 25, 2019, Christopher Caldwell reportedly found himself nearly immobile, shackled to a bucket at Limestone Correctional Facility in Alabama. His pant legs were taped up, and his belly, feet and hands were shackled. Caldwell’s handcuffs were shackled to his belly, preventing him from moving his hands above his waist.

Caldwell had just been transferred to the prison from a relatively coveted work release center, and had already undergone extensive precautionary entrance procedures: several body cavity searches, metal detectors and drug dogs. But, per Capt. Patrick Robinson’s “bucket detail” policy — known colloquially as “shitting in a bucket” — Caldwell’s processing wasn’t complete. After guards placed him in a cell, shackled and taped him, he was told his restraints would not be removed until he “shat six times” in the bucket, according to an organizing group that platforms prisoners’ voices, Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. (Of The Concrete Jungle).

Caldwell was bound to the bucket in a cell without running water for five days. His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.

Another confined individual subjected to the “shitting in a bucket” practice, Daniel Bolden (AIS #254848), said that his memories of eating like a dog (due to constrained hands) are etched into his mind. Unable to shower, he was forced to lie near and in his own feces and urine.

The Normalization of Torture and Assault
A prisoner and organizer who goes by the pseudonym “Potential” hasn’t spent time at Limestone, but has spoken with others who have. He said they have told him that “Limestone is a different breed of prison — it has its own rules. No one wants to go there.”

Truthout spoke with Jane (name changed), a mother whose son is currently confined at Limestone. Jane wishes to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation against her son. Surveillance cameras aren’t common at Limestone, she told Truthout. Another prisoner tried to sexually assault her son, Jane said, but when he reported the incident, there was no evidence to support his complaint. And when a prisoner is placed in “lockup,” also known as administrative segregation, they are generally handled one on one, without oversight of other guards on duty, according to Potential.

Jane’s son hasn’t been subjected to bucket detail himself, but has described it to her. “Everyone knows it goes on here,” he said to her.

Caldwell was bound to the bucket in a cell without running water for five days. His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.
“Lockup is so crowded, that ADOC [Alabama Department of Corrections] started putting men in closets with the bucket for several days,” Jane explained.

These conversations follow a Department of Justice (DOJ) report released April 2, 2019, where the agency concluded that Alabama prisons, including Limestone, constitute “cruel and unusual punishment,” a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The report focused on the ways the ADOC fails to protect “prisoners from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse.” The DOJ’s investigation into Alabama prison staffs’ use of excessive force and sexual abuse is an issue “pending with the court,” according to the report.

It is unclear whether the DOJ will release a report of this investigation. But preliminary conversations with those close to the Alabama prison system indicate a second report would probably not be any less damning than the first.

Jane said that she’s been extorted by lieutenants and guards (at a facility other than Limestone) for over $10,000. “Guards stabbed my son. Then I got a call from a Lieutenant who said things would get worse for him if I didn’t send money,” she said.

Another mother of a confined son at Limestone, who was also aware of bucket detail, told Truthout, “I actually had a female guard molest me on one of our visits. She literally put her hand inside of my underwear and touch [sic] my vagina.” The mother didn’t speak up out of fear of retaliation or a denial of her visitation.

Echoes of Previous Forms of Torture at Limestone
“Shitting in a bucket” is eerily similar to a form of torture previously used at Limestone called “hitching post.” At the “hitching post” prisoners were shackled to a metal contraption, shirtless, for hours in sweltering Alabama summers and cold winters without an opportunity to eat, drink or use a toilet. Shorter prisoners’ wrists were sometimes chained to a high bar for hours at a time, and taller prisoners to a shorter bar.

A prisoner testified to Federal Magistrate Judge Vanzetta Penn McPherson in 1997 that “they had me chained, hitched up the hitching rail like I was a dog.” The judge ordered an immediate end to the tactic, writing, “Short of death by electrocution, the hitching post may be the most painful and tortuous punishment administered by the Alabama prison system.” She continued:

With deliberate indifference for the health, safety and indeed the lives of inmates, prison officials have knowingly subjected them to all of the hazards of the hitching posts, then observed as they suffered pain, humiliation and injuries as a result.

The District Court of Alabama ruled that, in certain cases, the use of the hitching post violated the Eighth Amendment. Later, the Eleventh Circuit found the practice unconstitutional, but ruled that prison guards were entitled to qualified immunity. In 2002 the Supreme Court found that guards could be personally liable for shackling people to the hitching post, thereby reversing the Eleventh Circuit’s prior ruling.

Although use of the hitching post has not been reported since the Supreme Court ruling, Potential told Truthout that prisoners in lockup at Limestone have been maced and put in outdoor cages for 12 hours. While caged, prisoners aren’t provided with coats in the winter or water in the summer. People confined in lockup at Limestone could not be immediately reached to verify this claim.

The hitching post received media coverage again in 2017, around the time Jeff Sessions was nominated to head the Department of Justice. During Sessions’s Senate Hearing, Democratic Senator Chris Coons questioned him about Alabama’s use of this tactic: “As the attorney general, you and the governor received letters from the U.S. Department of Justice telling you that Alabama’s use of the hitching post in both men and women’s prisons was unconstitutional and unjustified,” Coons said. “But as I understand it, the use of the hitching post continued throughout your term and you did not act to stop it.”

Likewise, in 1995 Alabama reinstituted the use of “chain gangs,” whereby up to dozens of prisoners were shackled together while working, supposedly to increase the cost-effectiveness of their labor. At the time, Sessions said ADOC’s use of chain gangs was “perfectly proper.”

At the “hitching post” prisoners were shackled to a metal contraption, shirtless, for hours in sweltering Alabama summers and cold winters.
Now, 17 years after the Supreme Court ruled hitching posts to be unconstitutional, a similar battle over the constitutionality of bucket detail could be on the horizon.

Christopher Caldwell has retained a lawyer, according to Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. Kenneth Traywick (AIS 177252), another prisoner who was recently transferred to Limestone and subjected to bucket detail, is also taking action. Traywick, well-known behind bars for his promotion of nonviolence and education, was transferred from general population in a medium security facility to Limestone, a maximum security facility. ADOC officials Robinson and Langford told Traywick he was transferred due to his alleged involvement with Unheard Voices O.T.C.J.

Once at Limestone, Traywick posted flyers around the facility to educate other confined people about their “right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment,” and advertised a lawsuit that the National Lawyers Guild is preparing regarding bucket detail. In response, Limestone officials placed him into solitary confinement.

Traywick went on hunger strike for at least 14 days, until his kidneys nearly failed, to protest his confinement. While on strike, he issued five demands, including that Limestone end “unconstitutional use of the bucket detail practice … with belly chains, shackles, handcuffs, and tape” and that he be transferred out of Limestone.

Aside from Unheard Voices’ whistleblowing, this article is the first time a description of bucket detail has appeared in print publicly. It is unclear whether the DOJ is aware of this practice, or for how long it has been enacted at Limestone. But Alabama prisoners’ families and supporters aren’t waiting around for the federal government to step in. They have scheduled a rally at the Alabama State Capitol on May 13 to address the inhumane treatment of Alabama prisoners.

https://truthout.org/articles/people-in ... ys-on-end/

'Truthout'....must be that broken clock thing

Burn this country to the ground
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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Thu May 09, 2019 1:07 pm

Whistleblowers describe culture of racism, abuse and coverups at Florida prison

By Ben Conarck

Posted May 8, 2019 at 12:00 PM
Updated May 8, 2019 at 8:01 PM

One former Panhandle prison employee said she filed a written complaint about a correctional officer’s racist behavior, then came into work several days later to another officer dangling a noose made of toilet paper in front of her.

Another former employee said she walked in on a handcuffed inmate being beaten in the medical unit, surrounded by a group of officers. She was suspended one day after filing an incident report about it, and fired within two weeks.

Though both those employees are now gone, they aren’t alone.

In interviews with the Times-Union, a dozen former and current employees at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution described a culture of abuse, bullying, racism and administrative cover-ups in the mental health dorms. Officers selected inmates they had problems with for unsanctioned forms of punishment: to include physical violence or withholding their food to the point where prisoners lost considerable weight, employees said.

“It frustrates us and makes us angry every time this happens and we report it and these officers are still there working,” said Betty Young, a former activities technician. “They won’t fire them because they’re so short on staff, and they keep them.”

Several employees complained all the way to the top — Warden Walker Clemmons.

There were multiple meetings about the work environment in the mental health dorms between concerned employees and their supervisors, including two with Clemmons in attendance, one as recently as mid-April, according to employees with direct knowledge of the meetings and records obtained by the Times-Union.

The Times-Union isn’t identifying any current employees, who expressed fears of retaliation. It is naming two former employees and used records to corroborate many of the claims.

In interviews with the Times-Union, employees at Santa Rosa also raised concerns about the July 2018 death of Michael Cuebas, which has been ruled a suicide by the Florida Department of Corrections. Specifically, they questioned why Cuebas was allowed to have a sheet in a shower cell, which is against department policy.

Cuebas, who was being housed in the mental health dorm, said he had attempted to hang himself in prison once before in letters to his mother. But he also expressed fear that correctional officers were going to put a hit on him and stage it to look like a suicide.

An inspector with the Florida Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General noted that Cuebas possessed a sheet in the shower cell but did not flag it as improper in a summary report of his investigation.

The Santa Rosa Correctional Institution is a crucial backstop in the Florida prison system. Deep in the Panhandle, the facility is known as the “end of the line,” but not because of its geographic location. Santa Rosa manages several wings of “close custody” inmates — those between maximum and medium security — as well as two mental health dorms.

That means the prison is responsible for some of the state’s most challenging inmates, but also some of its most vulnerable. Employees interviewed by the Times-Union stressed that the facility had seasoned officers who acted professionally as well, but that there was an unwillingness by the administration to hold other officers accountable.

The facility has a capacity of some 2,600 inmates but housed more than 3,300 prisoners from across the state as of the last audit in February 2015. It’s unclear how many of those are from Northeast Florida.

The Department of Corrections said the agency and leadership at Santa Rosa “have zero tolerance for staff who act inappropriately and in contrary to our core values.”

“We do not condone a culture of racism, abuse or coverup,” the agency said in a statement.

Michelle Glady, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said the agency couldn’t comment on Young’s firing because she was a Centurion employee and it was not involved in the decision. Centurion is the private medical contractor at Florida prisons.

The Office of Inspector General is reviewing and investigating the allegations, the department added. Glady said the institution had a “track record of ensuring that any individuals involved in misconduct are held fully accountable.”


Ronald Thornton was one week away from his release date, serving a four-year sentence for cocaine possession, when correctional officers called him out from his cell.

Thornton, a black man, had been fighting with several correctional officers who he said used racist language toward him. He had already been badly beaten once before, to the point where his eyes were swollen shut, according to multiple sources at the prison.

But Thornton wasn’t staying quiet. He continued to call out officers for racist behavior.

On April 9, one month ago, a couple of officers told Thornton they had a going-away present for him, he said — then they told him he had to take a tuberculosis test.

The men led Thornton to the medical unit in handcuffs. It’s one of the few areas in the facility that has no cameras, according to several employees.

“They closed the door and put their gloves on and said, ’You know what time it is,” Thornton told the Times-Union. “Then they started hitting me.”

Thornton identified Sgt. Lee Peacock Jr. as one officer that beat him, but could not name others. He said violence against inmates was rampant in the prison. The Department of Corrections would not say whether Peacock was under investigation but confirmed that he is still an active employee there. The Times-Union attempted to reach him directly and through the agency but was unsuccessful.

Young, the former activities therapist at the prison, heard what she described as grunting in the midst of Thornton’s beating, and forced her way into the medical office. One officer whistled out a warning, she said, and when she arrived she saw several officers and some nurses were trying to shield Thornton from her view. Young said Thornton leaned away from an officer and looked to her, and she was able to see evidence of physical injury to his face.

Young, who said she had knowledge of Thornton being beaten up once before, said she called out in surprise at the officers that they were beating Thornton again. The officers simply stared at her and said nothing in response, Young said. She went directly to her supervisor to report the incident, she added.

That same day, Young wrote a report about the beating. She identified Peacock and other officers as being in the medical unit surrounding Thornton when she entered.

The incident report would be her last. Young was suspended the day after she filed it, then terminated a week and a half later, she said.

After Young shared her story with the Times-Union, the newspaper interviewed Thornton, whose recollection of the beating included many of the same details shared by Young, details outlined in records later obtained by the Times-Union. Thornton was released from prison on April 16.


Officers regularly coerced inmates in the mental health unit by withholding or ruining their food, according to a dozen former and current employees.

Because inmates at the mental health unit are kept in one-man cells, officers deliver trays directly to them.

But sometimes, the officers served “air trays” or “ghost trays,” the employees said. The trays have a lid on top, so they appear to be full on video, but contain no food, they said, adding that officers will also position cups of juice to spill into the tray and soak the meal.

Employees said officers used the trays for coercion or retaliation. For instance, Thornton said that after his beating, an officer came up to the back of his cell, off camera, and told him to file an incident report saying he fell. The officers threatened him with ghost trays, he added.

Several current employees and former employees said officers commonly withheld food to get inmates to change their stories for investigations into abuse or to concoct fictional narratives that would cover up the wrongdoing of an officer.

Another form of retaliation is known as “bucking,” according to employees and former prisoners. To attend state-mandated programs such as group therapy, correctional officers must sign an inmate out of their cell after a contraband search, employees said.

Employees added that certain inmates were consistently being blocked from programs if they fell out of favor with the officers for any reason. When the employees asked officers why the inmate didn’t show up, they were told they refused to be searched, claims that employees would later find out to be false, they said.

Not attending the state-mandated programs can result in the loss of privileges for inmates such as time spent in the day room or the ability to possess radios.

Glady, the department spokeswoman, said that under policy, inmates who do not participate in scheduled activities are interviewed by counselors “to encourage him to participate at the time of the refusal.”

She added that the department’s Central Office “recently” assigned an ombudsman to the facility who is monitoring conditions in the mental health dorms.


Lauren Gaylord, a former activities specialist at the facility, said white officers frequently racially harassed her and other black employees there.

Gaylord did what she thought she was supposed to do in the face of harassment, she said, and reported the officers. But that only led to more problems, according to Gaylord.

During a mental health group meeting she was leading, Gaylord said, a correctional officer appeared outside the window holding a noose constructed out of toilet paper.

The noose appeared again, Gaylord said, several days later, when she was walking into work.

“They made sure when I walked in the quad that they had it dangling for me off of a roll of toilet paper that they had just taken out of a different inmates’ cell,” Gaylord said. “They had it hanging for me when I walked in. I knew it was for me because as soon as I saw it, they pulled it up, they all laughed together and then they balled it up and put it in their pockets.”

Gaylord identified Officer Kyle Hollis and Officer Travis Boswell who she said dangled the noose in front of her that time. She said Officer Hollis then walked past her “and gave me kind of a, ’You fall in line” kind of smirk and said, ’Did you see that, Gaylord?”

Both incidents with nooses occurred last year, Gaylord said, but she could not identify specific dates. Gaylord said she reported the incidents, and the Times-Union has requested copies of those reports.

The Department of Corrections confirmed that Officer Hollis is still employed at Santa Rosa.

Unsettled after hearing about the noose incidents, several employees at the facility — many of them African American — complained about what they described as an environment of racial harassment by correctional officers, according to employees and records obtained by the Times-Union.

The newspaper first heard about the noose incidents from current employees. Gaylord then independently shared many of the same details when contacted by the Times-Union. The Times-Union attempted to reach the officers directly and through the agency but was unsuccessful.


Late last year, employees at Santa Rosa voiced concerns in a meeting with Warden Walker Clemmons, Assistant Warden Michael Pabis and other high-ranking supervisors, according to employees with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The employees wanted to know why Officer Hollis was still working there and believed his actions were captured on video, according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Warden Clemmons said the incident was under review, according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting. He told them he had a “zero tolerance” policy, they said, and that the department’s Office of Inspector General would open an investigation.

For months, the employees who complained assumed Hollis had been fired.

Then, last month, an employee at the prison observed Hollis in a different part of the facility. That prompted another complaint and another meeting with the warden, this time with several more members of the medical health unit staff attending, according to people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Employees who attended the meeting described it as “punitive” and felt the administration was more upset that they had reported the abuses than they were disturbed about the misconduct by officers.

Glady, the department spokeswoman, said “Warden Clemmons has made diligent efforts to ensure all of his employees, to include contract staff, feel comfortable reporting any perceived misconduct without fear of retaliation.”

A representative from Centurion also defended the administration’s actions during the meeting, saying the “warden’s reputation is beyond reproach,” according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The Times-Union has left multiple messages with Centurion seeking comment but has not yet heard back from the company.


Phyllis Johnson-Mabery, Cuebas’ mother, said she doesn’t believe her son killed himself.

She shared letters Cuebas had written home, expressing fears that officers were going to hurt him, kill him or hire other prisoners to do the job for them.

“They tell me they are going to brutally murder me and cover it up, then tell my family that I did it to myself, or just make something up, because that’s what they do” Cuebas wrote in a letter to his mother dated about a year before he died.

Johnson-Mabery shared an unredacted report on Cuebas’ death that described trauma to his face and head, but attributed those injuries to “when the ligature was untied and the decedent fell onto the tile floor.”

Cuebas was still breathing when he was cut down, the report also noted.

According to the report, Cuebas was hiding the sheet from correctional officers, but several employees questioned how he could have gotten a sheet there in the first place. Inmates are escorted to the shower cells wearing only their boxers, with guards holding them by their arms, they said.

The Department of Corrections faces wrongful death lawsuits not uncommonly, including those that raise questions about deaths that were ruled as suicides by the department’s Office of Inspector General.

Johnson-Mabery said Cuebas “just wanted to do his time, never go back there again, and just get back to his family.”

“I knew he would be different. As a mother, you know” Johnson-Mabery said. “I knew the Michael I knew was no longer, and that a broken person was coming out. But we were prepared and ready to get him the help that he needed.”

Ben Conarck: (904)359-4103

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190 ... ida-prison
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Thu May 23, 2019 1:25 pm

A Tennessee County Wanted to Sterilize Inmates for Shorter Sentences. That’s Over Now.


By Emma Ockerman May 21, 2019

A Tennessee judge offered dozens of inmates about a month off their sentence if they’d undergo surgical sterilization, and many agreed to it, in what critics argued amounted to a eugenics program and a blatant violation of constitutional rights.

Now, nearly two years after a local district attorney first made his concerns about the program known, inmates sued to end deals to get vasectomies or birth control implants, and nationwide outrage grew, sterilization deals are officially quashed after a federal court order Monday night.

“Inmate sterilization is despicable, it is morally indefensible, and it is illegal,” said Daniel Horwitz, a Nashville attorney who represented inmates pro-bono in their lawsuit against White County General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield and former county sheriff Oddie Shoupe, in a statement. “Let this historic order serve as a warning: Whether you are a sitting judge, a sheriff who is ‘just following orders,’ or any other government official, if you violate the Constitution, you will be held accountable.”

While the program was in practice, White County agreed to sterilize “dozens” of inmates, according to the lawsuit. Both vasectomies and birth control implants can be reversed or removed, but — like all surgical procedures — can be costly and pose medical risks to patients. In an email, Horwitz told VICE News that “several dozen” women received Nexplanon implants through the program, and nobody received vasectomies, though many signed up to do so.

Prior to Monday’s court order, Tennessee banned sterilization deals and Benningfield was formally reprimanded. And the judge, who appears to still be working with the state, said he rescinded the program on his own. Because of those actions, the original lawsuit against Benningfield and Shoupe, filed in 2017, was rendered moot.

But, the inmates’ lawsuit was revived in April when a federal appeals court ruled they could still argue that the program violated their constitutional rights, according to the Tennessean. Monday’s order represents a settlement they reached to formally put an end to all sterilization deals, rescind prior deals, recover the inmates’ legal fees and achieve 30-day credits to shorten the time it’ll take to get their charges expunged.

Benningfield did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment. Shoupe, the sheriff named in the lawsuit, left public office in September amid a lawsuit concerning a deadly 2018 police chase. The lawsuit argued Shoupe ordered sheriff’s deputies to shoot a suspect they were chasing “solely to prevent damage to patrol cars.”

One of the men involved in the lawsuit against the judge and former sheriff regarding the sterilization program, Christopher Sullivan, refused a vasectomy and was required to serve an additional 30 days on his sentence, according to court documents. He was in the White County jail for a non-violent probation violation, and has since been released. Nathan Haskell and William Gentry, two other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, were also released last year, according to Horwitz.

Another inmate alleged in the lawsuit that most of the woman who agreed to receive birth control implants “were coming off drugs” and “weren’t in clear judgement to make this decision.” In 2017, Benningfield told CBS News that he was in favor of sterilization agreements to prevent “babies from being born addicted to drugs.” For years, Tennessee has been enveloped in the opioid crisis, but public health experts and advocates have repeatedly warned that programs like White County’s only serve to demonize drug users and punish people living in poverty.

"It seemed to me almost a no-brainer. Offer these women a chance to think about what they're doing and to try to rehabilitate their life," Benningfield told the news outlet. At the time, 38 men had signed up for the vasectomy and 24 women had the implant procedure.

It’s worth noting that babies cannot be “born addicted,” but can exhibit symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome if a woman uses opioid drugs while pregnant. Tennessee has a storied history of punishing parents who use drugs with draconian laws, too. The state passed a fetal assault law in 2014 — since sunsetted, though lawmakers are trying to revive it — which lobbed criminal charges on pregnant women using drugs. Critics argued that law kept parents from coming forward to seek treatment.

Cover: In this April 18, 2018 photo, an inmate sits on her bed as fellow inmates in a cell next door exercise by walking laps in the room at the Campbell County Jail in Jacksboro, Tenn. More than a decade ago, there were rarely more than 10 women in this jail. Now the population is routinely around 60. Most of the women are in for charges related to drug addiction. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/evy ... harebutton

Eugenics, plain & simple.
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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Fri May 24, 2019 3:26 pm

4 days in chains, 3 bowel movements in a bucket: Alabama inmate 'dehumanized' by contraband search
Andrew J. Yawn, Montgomery Advertiser Published 3:34 p.m. CT May 23, 2019 | Updated 3:40 p.m. CT May 23, 2019

A prisoner behind bars with hands cuffed (Photo: Caspar Benson, Getty Images/fStop)

An Alabama inmate says he was "dehumanized" by an alleged contraband search in which he was shackled in a cell for four days and ordered to defecate three times in a bucket before he could leave.

Previously incarcerated at three other Alabama prisons, Chris Caldwell assumed his transfer to Limestone prison in March would be nothing out of the ordinary. He passed through a metal detector. He was sniffed by a K-9 dog. He was stripped naked and made to “squat and cough.” But Caldwell said the search didn’t end there.

First came the leg irons and the belly chain, ensuring Caldwell couldn’t lift his hands above his waist. Then, a guard used packaging tape to seal his shirt sleeves and pant cuffs to his skin before escorting him to a dry cell with no toilet or running water.

“I tell them I have to use the bathroom. They bring in a little toilet seat like they use at a nursing home. I use the bathroom into the bag, the biohazard bag (inside a bucket). Then I tell them to take the cuffs off and they say, ‘No, you have to stay like that. You have to use the bathroom three times.’ I said I can’t use the bathroom two more times today. They said, ‘However long it takes.’”

For four days, Caldwell remained chained and taped in the same state-issued uniform, enduring a controversial contraband search Limestone guards reportedly call “bucket detail.”

Limbs bound, Caldwell slept on a standard rack bed, chains pressing into his hips. He said he wasn’t given a blanket until he kicked the door and complained to an officer.

Guards brought Caldwell standard meals, but unable to lift his hands to his face, he was forced to hunch over and “eat like a dog.”

When it came time to pass the contents of his bladder and bowels, he banged on the door and hoped an officer would answer, bucket in hand.

On one occasion, no one did.

“I actually used the bathroom on myself one time, because I was kicking the door and they wouldn’t see what I wanted. They wouldn’t let me shower or change my clothes,” Caldwell said, adding that he spent nearly three days in soiled clothes. “It made me feel like a savage and dehumanized in a way.”

Caldwell saw approximately 10 others undergoing bucket detail in the prison's C-Dorm, a collection of general population cells Limestone prisoners said are being used more as segregation units.

"They're denying them access to the law library and denying them exercise for 45 minutes a day," said Robert Earl Council, a Limestone prisoner and inmate rights advocate also known as Kinetik Justice.

Dionisio Reed, a former Limestone inmate out on parole, said he witnessed bucket detail "several times" while being made to work in the C-Dorm. Parents of Limestone inmates also said they had heard of bucket detail, but declined to speak further due to fear of retaliation.

The allegations come weeks after Alabama Department of Corrections was blasted by a U.S. Department of Justice report, which found reasonable cause to believe Alabama prisons are violating the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, banning cruel and unusual punishment. In addition, an ongoing, years-long litigation effort by the Southern Poverty Law Center has shed light on improper segregation practices and inadequate mental health care within ADOC.

After being asked about bucket detail by a reporter, the SPLC visited Limestone this week, where they heard about the practice from prisoners, who also said it had been discontinued due to protests from the inside and mounting publicity.

Council and others had put up flyers asking inmates who had been subjected to bucket detail to contact him and another prisoner, Kenneth Traywick. According to anti-prison group Unheard Voices, Traywick went on hunger strike after being put in segregation as retaliation for putting up the flyers.

Caldwell said he was told by an officer that the practice had been halted, adding "Whatever y'all did, it worked."

"It does seem that they have stopped doing the bucket detail right now," said Maria Morris, senior supervising attorney at the SPLC. "We don’t know how permanent a stoppage it is. We certainly hope it is permanent."

ADOC spokesperson Bob Horton said the department's Investigations and Intelligence division is aware of the allegations.

When asked if ADOC is aware of bucket detail or any similar practice occurring at Limestone, Horton said, “ADOC policy consists of observation in a holding cell where the inmate is provided a receptacle and hygiene items. The suspected inmate is not chained nor is their uniform taped.” When asked if an inmate being held in that manner would be a violation of ADOC policy, Horton provided a near copy of the previous statement.

Horton declined to answer whether he spoke to anyone at Limestone about bucket detail. A request for interviews with Limestone Capt. Patrick Robinson, ADOC Commissioner Jefferson Dunn and ADOC Deputy Commissioner of Operations Charles Daniels was denied, as was a request for ADOC's policy regarding contraband search, which Horton said is not available for public release due to security reasons.

Caldwell said it is common for other prisons to put a prisoner in a smock in a dry cell in order to wait for potential ingested contraband to pass, but this was the first time he had ever been held in tape and chains for days while doing so.

“We had one officer when I was back there, he said he didn’t feel like it was right and he didn’t want nothing to do with it,” Caldwell said. “It’s one of those situations we’re trying to figure out how they’ve been getting away with it for so long.”

Similarly, Morris said waiting for potentially ingested contraband to pass was a common practice in Alabama and other states, but added, "I think it’s done generally for a short amount of time, and I see no reason for people to be handcuffed during it."

"That doesn't make sense to me. The two really big things that take this out of the ordinary are probably the restraints and time frames. That said, we don’t condone this practice and do not have a position at this time as to whether or not it is legal or appropriate to do it for any amount of time," Morris said.

When asked about Caldwell allegedly being left to sit in his own waste, Morris said, "That's completely inappropriate."

In 2015, California prisons were found to employ a similar contraband search method called potty watch. The Associated Press reported that inmates were similarly taped, chained and kept in a dry cell for at least 72 hours or three bowel movements. At the time, the AP reported that California was the only state to chain inmates while in isolation cells, but that other states — Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, New York and Georgia — also held inmates in dry cells for a predetermined amount of time or number of bowels movements.

The AP found that potty watch was used 1,200 times in 2½ years and resulted in found contraband less than 41 percent of the time.

Daniel Vasquez, now retired after 30 years with the California Department of Corrections, said potty watch was used at San Quentin prison while he was warden from 1983-93.

"It’s the best way of trying to prevent people getting contraband into the institution, by ejecting it," Vasquez said.

Vasquez said, to his knowledge, the practice continues in California today. When asked about Caldwell's experience of being kept in shackles for four days, Vasquez said, "I think Alabama might be in some legal problems with that case."

"That’s kind of unreasonable," Vasquez said. "If you don’t find anything in a few hours, how are you going to keep that person there for days? That’s doesn't make sense. That wouldn’t be reasonable at all."

Caldwell spoke to a mental health staff member at the prison after he was released from the dry cell. While he said he hopes he never has to talk or think about it again after he gets out, he said he wanted to publicize the practice so others would know how it felt to be treated as less than human.

"It gave me a feeling that, when you’re behind this fence, they do you any kind of way," Caldwell said. "Once you’re in, you just have to deal with it. What you say don’t matter, and hopefully it don’t scar you for the rest of your life."

https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/st ... 771764002/

They do this in Alabama wft they do in SC? The pigs are hyper twisted up about 'phones in their lockups & ya see this & don't have to wonder why.
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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Tue May 28, 2019 10:25 pm

Instead of building ‘humane jails’ to replace Rikers Island, let’s push the NYPD to cut down on arrests.
During a public hearing at Queens Borough Hall last month, more than 300 Kew Gardens residents lined up to discuss New York City’s plan to build a new jail in their neighborhood. Some attendees articulated stereotypical NIMBY concerns such as the literal long shadow the building would cast as well as the vehicle traffic it would bring. Others, recognizing the carceral significance of the hearing, filled the hall to chant, “If they build it, they will fill it.”

That hearing was one of the first steps of an approval process for a new jail in every New York City borough except Staten Island to replace existing jails on Rikers Island. Together, the four proposed new jails would house approximately 5,000 people by 2027 (the current population of Rikers is around 7,500). On May 6, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice told The City they expect the number to drop to 4,000 because of state bail reform efforts. JustLeadershipUSA, an advocacy group dedicated to cutting the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030, envisions a jail system that would hold fewer than 3,000 people citywide by 2024.

On May 8, the Brooklyn Community Board rejected its borough-based jail; on May 14, Queens Community Board 9 rejected its jail. Manhattan and the Bronx will vote on their jails later this month.

But New York City has not committed to closing Rikers. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 51-page report on Rikers leaves to a future administration the task of actually shuttering existing jails.

The mayor seeks to invest $10 billion to start building four new facilities as soon as 2020, whereas the tentative goal of closing Rikers’s eight jails would not begin until 2026 or later. “In order to [close Rikers],” the New York City website reads, “we must have a jail population that is small enough to be housed safely off Rikers Island.”

Misguided focus on ‘arrests as outputs’
But we don’t have to open any new jails in order to close Rikers.

The mayor’s proposal relies on the major fallacy that New York City must reduce jail commitments before reducing available jail space. The truth is the opposite: Closing jails can lead to reductions in pretrial detention and incarceration. Instead of replacing Rikers’ detention capacity with “humane jails,” New Yorkers should seize this opportunity to pressure the NYPD to reduce its use of arrest.

An individual can only end up in jail if the police decide to arrest them, and unless state law explicitly mandates an arrest for specific offenses, individual officers have the power to decide whether they will begin the criminal legal process. The NYPD—known for its “zero tolerance” policing tactics, wherein officers ticket and arrest New Yorkers for even the most minor violations—encourages officers to use their discretion liberally. This approach is the product of a mentality shift to “arrests as outputs,” or a CompStat policing culture where a police unit’s arrest metrics are used to gauge its productivity. It relies on the mistaken assumption that increased arrests, no matter the crime or context, reduce serious crime. And some officers have claimed in a lawsuit that NYPD enforces quotas for arrests and summonses, despite a ban on the practice. This is exactly what must change.

Cincinnati jail closure yields shift in policing
There is strong precedent supporting the idea that closing jails can pressure police to cut down on arrests. In 2008, the 822-bed Queensgate Correctional Facility in Cincinnati was shuttered, which eliminated more than one-third of the city’s available jail space. A 2017 study from University of Cincinnati criminologist Robin S. Engel analyzed police responses to the closure. In her research, Engel examined a deceivingly simple, yet powerful question: What happens when the police simply cannot lock up as many people as they used to?

The result was a paradigm shift in how police view arrest: “as a limited commodity rather than as a standard response.”

When the jail closure was announced, critics feared that crime would skyrocket as a result of limited jail space, but the opposite was true. From 2008 to 2014, violent crime in Cincinnati dropped by 38.5 percent, property crime by 18.9 percent. Felony arrests dropped by 41.3 percent, and misdemeanor arrests by 32.7 percent. Engel noted that crime and arrests were already on the decline in Cincinnati before the jail’s closure, but stressed that “the continuation of these downward trends, uninterrupted by the jail closure, is powerful.”

Engel pointed to three factors that explained these decreases. First, the Cincinnati Police Department committed to increasing transparency and legitimacy through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Collaborative Agreement, initiating an enormous change in the organization’s structure and culture. For example, the Collaborative Agreement led the city to create a community oversight institution to review police use of force and other serious incidents (among other reforms).

Second, the jail closure prompted a need for “surgical precision” in arrest and detention, encouraging the Cincinnati police to focus their attention on crimes that threatened public safety. As one Assistant Chief told Engel: “I asked my District Captains to make sure we were not using the limited jail resources for minor violations that could be handled in alternative ways, and to be more strategic about who we were arresting and why.”

Third, police implemented tactics such as focused deterrence, where law enforcement partners with communities to establish anti-violence social norms and provide viable alternatives through social services. At its best, focused deterrence can prevent shootings with minimal use of incarceration, and Cincinnati’s implementation was considered a national model. Such tactics did not require several thousand jail beds. After Queensgate closed, the number of beds in Cincinnati declined from about 2,300 to 1,500, which demonstrated that serious violent crime could be prevented without resorting to the state-sanctioned harassment and sweeping low-level arrests inherent in broken-windows policing. Both Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, unfortunately, remain broken-windows adherents, and the city implements focused deterrence with soul-crushing punitiveness that is divorced from community social norms.

The closure of Queensgate forced the Cincinnati police to arrest fewer people, and that decreased arrest rate coincided with a historic reduction in violent crime. It’s powerful evidence suggesting that New York can decarcerate and maintain public safety.

Social services, not jails
Currently, New York City is experiencing its lowest homicide rate in 75 years. There are about three murders per 100,000 people, or just under 300 killings per year, compared with Cincinnati’s approximately 20 per 100,000. New York City’s misdemeanor arrest and felony arrest rates hover around 1,500 and 900 per 100,000. To the city’s credit, the misdemeanor arrest rate is about half of what it was a decade ago. Tellingly, a drop in misdemeanor arrests has not produced an accompanying spike in violent crime. That number can be lowered significantly while maintaining public safety.

Instead of investing $10 billion in new jails, New York City should fund social services and programs that are lacking in communities experiencing high rates of crime and incarceration. Incarceration is incredibly expensive, criminogenic, and dehumanizing: incarcerated people do not receive the support they need to succeed when they re-enter society, people who are sentenced to incarceration are more likely to commit a new crime later, and incarceration itself can function as a “school” where people internalize antisocial norms and crime techniques. Incarceration should only ever be used as a last resort: it is always a policy failure, indicia of where the state has failed its citizens.

Communities most affected by both crime and incarceration are overpoliced and underprotected. In 2018, the NYPD made 808 arrests for rape, but over 5,000 arrests for fare evasion. To remedy this, the city should facilitate community oversight of police and prosecutors, and significantly expand the scope and funding of its participatory budgeting program with a focus on communities that experience the most crime. In 2018, city residents directed the allocation of over $35 million in public funds for everything from technology upgrades at libraries to tree planting; such projects are inexpensive yet enormously valuable to communities especially when compared to a $10 billion jail construction project.

Imagine if New York City’s most vulnerable neighborhoods had the power to establish youth programs, mental health and addiction treatment, affordable housing, and living-wage jobs as they see fit. Investment in under-resourced communities could be further bolstered by police divestment. The NYPD has an annual budget of around $6 billion, and Mayor de Blasio has hired new officers and built new police facilities even as crime rates plummeted.

Even without a radical re-envisioning of budgeting and civic participation, the City Council still has better options than building a new jail in every borough. For example, if the city is truly concerned that closing Rikers without replacement jail beds would make New York less safe, it could expand the scope and funding of existing credible messenger programs, where violence interrupters apply their experience to connect with young men at pivotal moments and stop conflicts from escalating into shootings. Much like in focused deterrence, violence interrupters attempt to establish anti-violence social norms through “shooting responses,” vigils held after shootings that emphasize the community’s unwillingness to tolerate violence. Credible messenger programs are associated with significant reductions in gun violence. The city could also choose to pursue nonpunitive order maintenance tactics, like funding new community gardens or other green spaces in high-crime neighborhoods.

This fall, the City Council will most likely call a vote on the construction of new jails to replace Rikers. If it does, New Yorkers must ensure that we aren’t just moving pretrial detention from existing inhumane facilities to a slightly more humane set of facilities, oppose any construction of new jails, and instead choose to invest in communities most harmed by overpolicing.

Jonathan Ben-Menachem is a criminal justice advocate who also writes about issues including policing and the criminalization of poverty.

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 pm

On Saturday, Injustice Watch and BuzzFeed News published an investigation into racist and violent social media posts by current and retired police officers. The article by Emily Hoerner and Rick Tulsky came out of a collaboration with the Plain View Project, which examined the Facebook accounts of police officers from eight departments across the county.

The Plain View Project looked at the accounts of about 2,900 current officers and 800 retired officers. Hoerner and Tulsky reported that “the project sought to compile posts, comments, and other public activity that could undermine public trust in the police and reinforce the views of critics, especially in minority communities, that the police are not there to protect them.”

The researchers found more than 5,000 posts and comments that met their criteria. Of the officers who could be identified on Facebook, 1 in every 5 of the current officers and 2 in every 5 of the retired officers made comments that met that standard, “typically by displaying bias, applauding violence, scoffing at due process, or using dehumanizing language,” Hoerner and Tulsky wrote. They describe posts in which “officers mocked Mexicans, women, and black people, celebrated the Confederate flag, and showed a man wearing a kaffiyeh scarf in the crosshairs of a gun.”

A post by a Phoenix police officer read: “Its [sic] a good day for a choke hold.” One Philadelphia officer mocked another officer as a “disgrace” for exercising restraint when a person refused to show a receipt. “My taser would’ve had him dancing,” he wrote.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the identification of nearly 330 active local officers’ public Facebook posts that were included in the database. Reggie Shuford of the ACLU of Pennsylvania said, “Hundreds of police officers in Philadelphia openly express hostility and antipathy toward the people they serve. And the report only exposes those officers who did not hide their views behind a privacy wall. How many more officers say the same thing under the cloak of stronger privacy settings?”

It wasn’t just the less-experienced or lower-ranked officers who were responsible for the offensive, troubling public posts. Among those identified as members of the Philadelphia police department, at least 64 were in leadership roles, “serving as corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, or inspectors, according to an employment roster from January.” One man identified in the database as a Philadelphia sergeant posted a photo of a skeleton wrapped in a U.S. flag, carrying a gun, with the phrase “Death To Islam” on top.

Hoerner and Tulsky also took the Plain View Project’s research and looked into whether officers whose Facebook posts warranted concern had a history of allegations of brutality or misconduct. In Philadelphia, as an example, they found that of the 328 officers, more than a third—139 officers—appeared to have been defendants in one or more federal civil rights lawsuits “based on name, badge number, and other corroborating details.” A hundred of those lawsuits ended in settlements or verdicts against the officers or the city.

The Plain View Project database and the Injustice Watch and BuzzFeed report force questions about the racism that is allowed to fester, unchecked, in police departments across the country, even at the highest levels, and the consequences for how communities are policed.

The Plain View Project website includes a disclaimer: “The posts and comments are open to various interpretations. We do not know what a poster meant when he or she typed them; we only know that when we saw them, they concerned us.” The project’s caution in interpreting social media posts is appropriate. But the brazenness with which police officers—public servants tasked with public protection—can express hostility to and loathing for whole subsets of the communities they are hired to serve is troubling. “This blows up the myth of bad apples, by the sheer number of images and numbers of individuals who are implicated,” Nikki Jones, an associate professor of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, told Hoerner and Tulsky.

This is especially the case in light of how another subset’s social media activity is viewed and responded to: Black and Latinx youth. There is a disconnect in the lack of consequences for officers who embrace messages so at odds with any ideal of fair and just policing and the web of consequences that greets low-income young people of color whose social media activity police surveil. In many cases, police officers and prosecutors act as unquestioned authorities on the intentions and meaning of teens’ social media activity.

An April article in The Nation by David Uberti looked at sociologist Jeffrey Lane’s book “The Digital Street.” Lane examines the rampant surveillance of the social media activity of teenagers in central Harlem between 2009 and 2012 that fed sweeping gang prosecutions, some of which came years after the online activity under scrutiny. Lane wrote: “Whereas some teens are involved in street violence, most teens are around this activity only because they share neighborhood space with conflict-involved peers, assuming social media users become ‘hot’ as they discuss neighborhood violence, their communication exposes themselves and their peers to the authorities.”

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'Shocked, shocked I tell you.' And of course that's just those dumbfucks who post that shit. Triple at least.
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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:11 pm

Pensacola Police fatally shoot unarmed man in front of his four children
By Sarah BrummetJul 06, 2019

Scene of the shooting on July 5, Pensacola, Florida. Liberation photo.

On July 5 at approximately 4:20 PM, an officer with the Pensacola Police Department shot an unarmed man in his mother’s yard, in front of his girlfriend and four children. Witnesses told Liberation News that at least six shots were fired at the victim, hitting him in his chest. The victim, whose name has not yet been released, did not survive the attack.

Neighbors lingered in the streets and nearby yards for hours after the incident, watching in horror and disbelief as the police searched the victim’s vehicle in what appeared to be an attempt to find physical evidence to justify this heinous act of police brutality. Some community members spoke with police, challenging them on how shooting an unarmed man six times in the chest could ever be necessary. One officer smirked at their frustration, and another took a combative tone while warning nearby neighbors to “calm down.”

In an effort to control the narrative surrounding this story, Pensacola Police Department spokesman Mike Wood promptly gave a brief statement to local news organizations. Per his statement, the PPD claims that two police officers attempted to pull the victim over for a traffic stop after they allegedly smelled marijuana coming from his car. The victim did not stop but instead drove slowly through the neighborhood and around the block where he lives until he reached his home, allegedly tossing narcotics out of his vehicle on the way. Police claim that once he parked, he struggled with and attempted to disarm a cop, at which time another officer began firing upon the victim.

Multiple witnesses contradicted this story, insisting in conversations with this reporter that the victim had his hands up when he was shot to death by the police. Despite the presence of several eyewitnesses who contradict their official narrative, the police have fabricated an alternate scenario in an attempt to justify this atrocity, and the local media has reported that version of the events unquestioningly. Liberation News was on the scene and will continue to report on this developing story in pursuit of justice for the latest victim of state-sanctioned killing here in Florida.

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:36 pm

Solidarity with Wayfair workers in their struggle to end profiteering from im/migrant suffering!

Worker power can bring an end to the concentration camps!
The International Workers Solidarity Network expresses our full solidarity with the Wayfair workers who walked out this June—and are continuing the fight to get the company they work for out of the business of supplying concentration camps.

Across the U.S., large numbers of workers are currently employed by companies profiting off of the construction of concentration camps at the U.S. / Mexico border. The Wayfair walkout has shown how workers in these companies have the power to shut down the camps.

Strikes are not just a means of getting higher wages, better benefits, and safer work conditions. They are also a means of making political demands on the government. For it is these same corporations who have bought out the politicians in the U.S. and who in effect control the operations of government.

Strikes hit the profit margins of these corporations, which is all these corporations care about. If they cared about human dignity or had any sense of morality, they might not be in the concentration camp business. With enough pressure, workers can make the camps unprofitable, forcing the corporations to abandon this barbaric enterprise.

Strikes of this kind—called political strikes—have won major battles in the past. On May Day in 2006, immigrant workers in the U.S. walked off the job in the millions in protest of H.R. 4437, a proposed policy that would have made it illegal to assist undocumented immigrants in the U.S. In 2016, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ called for a general strike against the corrupt Park Geun-hye government of South Korea. In conjunction with mass protests, both of these political strikes helped bring about victories. H.R. 4437 never passed, and Park Geun-hye resigned. As we write this statement of solidarity, workers in Sudan are utilizing political strikes to demand an end to military violence against protestors, as are workers in Puerto Rico to demand the governor's resignation.

It’s time for workers in the U.S. to draw on this rich history. The Wayfair workers have shown that it can be done here today, and we encourage many more strikes of this kind! The International Workers Solidarity Network is ready to support any and all political strikes against the concentration camps.

**If you and your co-workers are interested in following the example of Wayfair and other workers, please indicate that by sending us an email at info@workersolidarity.net**

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:47 pm

How Police Killing Black People Hasn’t Let Up Since Ferguson, In 5 Charts
About 1 in every 1,000 Black men and boys are likely to be killed by police, research found.
Written By Frank Edwards
Posted August 9, 2019

Michael Brown was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, five years ago. Since then, U.S. police have killed more than 5,000 people.

Researchers and activists only know about these deaths because journalists do what the federal government has not: collect detailed information on police-involved fatalities.

Because the government has not collected systematic data on police killings, the public doesn’t have definitive numbers that, once interpreted, will show how likely people are to be killed by police.

In a study published on Aug. 5, sociologist Hedwig Lee, social scientist Michael Esposito and I use unofficial data to show how risk of death varies by age, sex and race or ethnicity in the U.S.

Measuring police violence
My colleagues and I rely on data provided by Fatal Encounters, a dataset maintained by journalist and former newspaper editor D. Brian Burghart. Burghart conducts systematic searches of online news, social media and public records to provide a close-to-comprehensive and up-to-date archive of police killings.

The database shows about 1,000 and 1,200 deaths per year since 2000.

While overall, police are responsible for a very small share of all deaths – about 0.05% of all male deaths, and 0.003% of all female deaths, police are responsible for a substantial proportion of all deaths of young people.

For young men, police violence ranks as the sixth leading cause of death as classified by the National Vital Statistics System, after accidents, which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle accidents and other accidental deaths; suicides; other homicides; heart disease; and cancer. Police are responsible for 1.6% of all deaths of black men between the ages of 20 and 24.

Our analysis found that about 52 of every 100,000 men and boys, and about 3 of every 100,000 women and girls, will be killed by police.

For comparison, the lifetime risk of a person being killed in a vehicle accident for the general population is about 970 per 100,000, and the lifetime risk of being killed by firearm in a homicide is about 350 per 100,000.

People who are American Indian and Alaska Native, black or Latino are more likely to be killed by police than people who are white.

Men of color have especially high lifetime risks of being killed by police. About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys are likely are killed by police. For American Indian and Alaska Native men and boys, the lifetime risk of being killed by police is about 1 in 2,000.

Young men and women are at greatest risk of being killed by police. Between the ages of 25 and 29, about 2 of every 100,000 young men in the U.S. are killed by police, while about 0.1 of every 100,000 women will be killed by police.

That risk is most pronounced for young men and women of color.

Policy implications
Based on our results, I believe that the U.S. urgently needs to reduce the rates at which police kill civilians, and reduce inequalities in exposure of men and women to police violence.

In my view, some common sense interventions would likely drive down rates of death. For example, investment in community based mental health and social services would reduce the use of police, jails and prisons as catch-all responses to social problems.

Accountability and effective reform demands better data. The Bureau of Justice Statistics is pursuing a data collection effort that mirrors the news-based approaches that journalists have pioneered. And the Center for Policing Equity, a research center in New York, is developing a national data system to track police use of force.

These efforts are promising, and I think they will provide policymakers and activists better sets of tools to hold police departments accountable for reducing the number of deaths that their officers cause.

Frank Edwards, Assistant Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University Newark

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

https://newsone.com/3883957/police-kill ... le-charts/

See link for charts, they would not copy.
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