Blog of Rights

Carl
Takei
Detention Is No Place for Infants, Children, and Families

Detention Is No Place for Infants, Children, and Families

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 1:45pm
Just before she turned a month old, baby Darla* was released from the Berks family detention facility in Leesport, Pennsylvania. Darla and her mother had been in the custody of DHS since she was just 11 days old. And although Darla will now have the chance to lift her head for the first time in freedom, her mother won't be able to breast-feed her. The combination of malnutrition and the stress of incarceration left her unable to lactate.
Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

By Maggie Heim, Litigation Fellow, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:24am

You're never going to win… Bottom line is the house wins every time.

That's what Maine Correctional Center Captain Shawn Welch said to a prisoner who was strapped into a restraint chair, his face coated with pepper spray and his legs…

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

On Wednesday, news broke that Idaho is dumping the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and searching for a new company to run the state's biggest prison. The prison is so violent that prisoners call it the "Gladiator School," and it has been the…

The Wal-Mart Model: Not Just for Retail, Now It’s for Private Prisons Too!

The Wal-Mart Model: Not Just for Retail, Now It’s for Private Prisons Too!

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:02pm

The nation's biggest and baddest for-profit prison company suddenly cares about halfway houses – so much so, that they want in on the action.

About a year after acquiring a smaller firm that operates halfway houses and other community corrections…

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

Projecting his latest music video onto the sides of 66 buildings around the world over the weekend, Kanye West debuted his new song...

Anonymous Exposes U.S.’s Biggest Private Prison Company As a Bad Financial Investment

Anonymous Exposes U.S.’s Biggest Private Prison Company As a Bad Financial Investment

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:04am

The oldest and largest for-prison company is not what it would have you believe, at least according to Anonymous...

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:02pm

Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket…

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:43pm

The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon."

At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or…

Sorting at a mailroom. Photo source: Jason V. via Wikimedia

Assembly-Line Injustice

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:46am

Dozens of tired, bedraggled men line up in shackles to plead guilty en masse. A judge claims his personal best is sentencing 70 people in 30 minutes: an average of twenty-five seconds per person to review the charges, hear his or her plea, and hand…

Sponsoring a Florida College Football Team Can’t Whitewash a Private Prison Company’s Atrocious Record

Sponsoring a Florida College Football Team Can’t Whitewash a Private Prison Company’s Atrocious Record

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project & Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 11:59am

In Florida, incarceration is big business. So is college football. There might be some twisted logic...

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