Prisoner Abuse

With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

By Claire Gardner, Community Engagement Associate, ACLU of Tennessee at 12:27pm
Listen, Trousdale County, Tennessee, I get it: When a big, powerful corporation comes to town and promises 400 new jobs, that's a huge deal. Especially if you're a small, rural community of hardworking people trying to make an honest living.
CCA At It Again: Held in Contempt for Understaffing Prison and Lying About It

CCA At It Again: Held in Contempt for Understaffing Prison and Lying About It

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:46pm

Yesterday, a federal judge in Idaho issued a scathing decision finding the Corrections Corporation of America...

A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:59am

Michelle Mata wants to be treated the way you would want your mom to be treated.

She's an aunt and a neighbor. She likes line dancing. And she suffers from major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

When people like Michelle…

Standing Up Against Sexual Assault By the State

Standing Up Against Sexual Assault By the State

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 11:05am

After meeting with visitors, prisoners in a Michigan prison are forced to remove all of their clothing and spread open their vaginal lips as a guard peers into their vaginal cavities.

After 42 Years in Solitary, Herman Wallace Dies a Free Man

After 42 Years in Solitary, Herman Wallace Dies a Free Man

By Helen Vera, National Prison Project Fellow, ACLU at 1:29pm

Herman Wallace died this morning. He was 71 years old and debilitated by terminal liver cancer. Three days ago, he went home to New Orleans for the first time since he was a young man. He has spent virtually all of the last 42 years locked alone in…

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:12am

We are thirty years into the HIV epidemic. Surely, by now, stigmatization, isolation and discrimination against people living with HIV should be a relic of the past. Yet up until today, categorical HIV segregation – one of the ugliest remnants of…

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:02am

The Department of Defense this month publicly released its newest rationalization for the abusive force-feeding program at Guantánamo Bay. In this latest memo on hunger strike policies, the abusive force-feeding program is referred to as "medical…

Marty Atencio (1967-2011): Another Victim of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jails

Marty Atencio (1967-2011): Another Victim of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jails

By Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:38am

Earnest “Marty” Atencio, 44 years old, died on December 20, 2011.  His dead body was covered with bruises, lacerations and puncture marks – wounds that made him look like the victim of a vicious attack by criminals.  But…

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

By Jesse Lava, Campaign Director, Beyond Bars & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:32pm

Frankie Barton's son has Hepatitis C. It's treatable, but she says the for-profit Corizon Prison Health Management has skimped on giving him the proper treatment while he's incarcerated. If he goes without care, he'll develop sclerosis of the liver—a…

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