Tag Archive: prison industrial complex

Thief Breaks Into NC Prison to Steal Copper

(from capitalist press…)

SALISBURY, N.C. — Police in Salisbury are looking for the rare thief who’s apparently eager to go to prison.

The Salisbury Post reports (http://bit.ly/GDMtXc ) that someone broke into the Piedmont Correctional Institution, stole copper from an air conditioning unit and escaped.

The theft was discovered Monday morning. Salisbury Police Capt. Sheila Lingle says no arrests have been made.

Investigators think the thief climbed a fence at the minimum-security prison and dismantled the air conditioner, which is valued at $3,000.

The theft was discovered after authorities found pieces of insulation on both sides of the fence. There’s no security camera footage showing that section of fence when the break-in likely took place.

Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System

By MICHELLE ALEXANDER, New York Times

AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: “What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?”

The woman was Susan Burton, who knows a lot about being processed through the criminal justice system.

Her odyssey began when a Los Angeles police cruiser ran over and killed her 5-year-old son. Consumed with grief and without access to therapy or antidepressant medications, Susan became addicted to crack cocaine. She lived in an impoverished black community under siege in the “war on drugs,” and it was but a matter of time before she was arrested and offered the first of many plea deals that left her behind bars for a series of drug-related offenses. Every time she was released, she found herself trapped in an under-caste, subject to legal discrimination in employment and housing. (more…)

‘Anonymous’ Hackers Target Private Prison Contractor

From Prison Radio

Hacker group Anonymous on Friday vandalized the website of a major US prison contractor in the latest salvo in an anti-police campaign.

Anonymous subgroup “Antisec” took credit for replacing The Geo Group website home page with a rap song dedicated in part to Mumia Abu-Jamal and a message condemning prisons and policing in the United States.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose birth name is Wesley Cook, is a former Black Panther and radio journalist serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting death of a police officer in Philadelphia. (more…)

Illinois Governor to Close Prisons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — As part of a cost-reduction plan, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants to close a prison that opened just 14 years ago as a cutting-edge facility for the state’s most dangerous inmates.

But his plan to shutter the Tamms “supermax” lockup is raising questions about how the crowded correctional system could safely absorb its inmate population.

Tamms is an infamous prison in the state of Illinois, highly controversial and the subject of numerous lawsuits alleging prisoner abuse. It is a closed maximum custody prison, with no mess hall and prisoners all doing solitary time 23 hours a day. (more…)

Triangle Occupy 4 Prisoners National Day of Action!

Monday Feb. 20th
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Noise Demonstration and Community Speak Out
In front of Durham County Jail (219 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701)
6:30 pm – 9 pm Food and Fellowship : Continuing the Conversation
At the Stanford L. Warren Library (1201 Fayetteville Street Durham, North Carolina 27707)

Please come join us to show solidarity with North Carolina prison rebels and all those affected by the legal and prison system.

We support the following points of unity from the call to action from Occupy Oakland:

1.  Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults. (more…)

NC Close Custody Prisons Put on Lockdown Statewide

From Anarchist News

For more context on the effects of solitary confinement and lockdowns  please see the excellent website Solitary Watch -IPBC

We recently received word, and have confirmed from several sources in different facilities, that all the close custody prisons in North Carolina were recently placed on lockdown for an extended period of time. According to one source, this lockdown began (at least at Lanesboro CI in Polkton) on January 20th. Prison administrators called for the lockdown after several (apparently) coordinated attacks by gang members across North and South Carolina.  (more…)

National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Proposal passed by Occupy Oakland on 1/9

Summary

We are calling for February 20th, 2012 to be a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.”

In the Bay Area we will “Occupy San Quentin,” to stand in solidarity with the people confined within its walls and to demand the end of the incarceration as a means of containing those dispossessed by unjust social policies.

Reasons

Prisons have become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy and our culture.

Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold.

Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3 million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision.

Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.

Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Between 1970 and 1995, the incarceration of African Americans increased 7 times. Currently African Americans make up 12 % of the population in the U.S. but 53% of the nation’s prison population. There are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

The prison system is the most visible example of policies of punitive containment of the most marginalized and oppressed in our society. Prior to incarceration, 2/3 of all prisoners lived in conditions of economic hardship. While the perpetrators of white-collar crime largely go free.

In addition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated that in 2008 alone there was a loss in economic input associated with people released from prison equal to $57 billion to $65 billion.

We call on Occupies across the country to support:

1. Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults.

2. Standing in solidarity with movements initiated by prisoners and taking action to support prisoner demands, including the Georgia Prison Strike and the Pelican Bay/California Prisoners Hunger Strikes.

3. Freeing political prisoners, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a Black Panther Party member incarcerated since 1969.

4. Demanding an end to the repression of activists, specifically the targeting of African Americans and those with histories of incarceration, such as Khali in Occupy Oakland who could now face a life sentence, on trumped-up charges, and many others being falsely charged after only exercising their First Amendment rights.

5. Demanding an end to the brutality of the current system, including the torture of those who have lived for many years in Secured Housing Units (SHUs) or in solitary confinement.

6. Demanding that our tax money spent on isolating, harming and killing prisoners, instead be invested in improving the quality of life for all and be spent on education, housing, health care, mental health care and other human services which contribute to the public good. (more…)

Business is Booming for the Prison Profiteers

by JAMES KILGORE, Counter Punch

Private corrections company The GEO Group celebrated the holiday season by opening a new 1,500 bed prison in Milledgeville, Georgia on December 12th. The $80 million facility is expected to generate approximately $28.0 million in annual revenues.

Though GEO (formerly Wackenhut) is hardly a household name, they are a major player in the private corrections sector, combining a self righteous amorality in profiting from human misery with a ruthless sense of just how to make a buck in this business. The GEO Group is so notorious that they were the target of an Occupy Washington D.C. action in early December. In addition,  the United Methodist Church sold off more than $200,000 in stock in GEO Group over the holiday season, judging that holding these shares was “incompatible with Bible teaching.”

While such actions may irritate a few within the company’s rank, the GEO Group is thick-skinned.  Over the years journalists have exposed a long history of violence, abuse and corruption in the company’s facilities.  Such scandals would have driven most firms out of business, but GEO has always managed to find the way back to prosperity. While the U.S. economy has plummeted in the past eighteen months, GEO has been positioning itself for the future.  In addition to opening the Georgia facility, during this period the company has: (more…)

Puppets vs. Prisons Round 2

Memebers of our collective  in the Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army are following up their summer shows with a short winter tour down south. Their feature show, “What Are Prisons For?”, uses shadow puppets to outline the history of the Prison Industrial Complexfrom chattel slavery in the South to today’s exploding prison population. We highly recommend this excellent introduction for viewers of all ages.

They still have a few dates open, so email them (mysteryrabbit at riseup dot net) if you can help!

December 18
Lake Worth, FL – The Night Heron (more…)

Supermax Psych: “Behavior Modification” at Marion Federal Prison

by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella at Solitary Watch

“Eddie Griffin, a former Civil Rights Movement activist and Black Panther, spent 12 years in federal prison for bank robbery, beginning in the early 1970s. After he was injured doing prison labor at Terre Haute Federal Prison, and refused to return to work under unsafe conditions, he was labelled “incorrigible” and transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.

Built to replace Alcatraz in 1963, Marion is widely acknowledged to be the first modern “supermax,” and was once the highest security and most notorious prison in the federal system. That distinction today belongs to ADX Florence in Colorado, but Marion is now home to one of the ultra-isolated federal Communications Management Units opened during the Bush Administration.

‘Breaking Men’s Minds: Behavior Control and Human Experimentation at the Federal Prison in Marion’ is a remarkable article authored by Griffin and published in the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons in 1993 (vol. 4, no. 2). (H/T to Alan for alerting us to the piece.) In it, he discusses the realities of the “behavior modification program” instituted at Marion in the 1960s. Griffin begins by describing the control of every moment–and every movement–in the lives of prisoners.”

Read the rest here.