Prisoner Abuse

 A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:12pm
Imagine being charged with a crime, going to trial, being found not guilty by reason of insanity, but remaining behind bars for years. You are denied access to a psychiatrist to treat your serious mental illness; you grow more acutely ill; and you daily face the threat of violence at the hands of other prisoners.
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…

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

By John Knight, LGBT Project at 11:08am

I first met Tatyana a few years after the Wisconsin legislature passed the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act – a cruel piece of legislation aimed at denying urgently needed healthcare to any transperson in custody in Wisconsin.

By that time,…

The Reign of Terror Ends at LA County Jails

The Reign of Terror Ends at LA County Jails

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California at 3:49pm

For many years there's been an entrenched culture of savage deputy-on-inmate violence Los Angeles County Jails – violence as extreme as anything we've seen in decades of investigating some of the most notorious jails and prisons in the nation.

Beatings…

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:31pm

Kilee Lowe was sitting in a park when cops picked her up and booked her into jail overnight.

After she got out the next morning, she returned to the park. The same officer who had thrown her into a cell not 24 hours before had booked her again.…

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:17am

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities…

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…

Victory Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails, Where Too Many Have Suffered and Died From Neglect

Victory Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails, Where Too Many Have Suffered and Died From Neglect

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:08pm

It took a nurse observing a man “eating chunks [taken out of his cell wall]” before he was moved out of solitary confinement.

This happened in Maricopa County Jail, run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Such incidents are not rare.

The…

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:01pm

Octavious Burks has been waiting for 10 months.

He's locked in a jail in Scott County, Mississippi. He hasn't been formally charged. He hasn't been assigned an attorney.

This is a recurring nightmare for Octavious: The same thing happened…

Dee's Triumph: One of the Most Important Trans Victories You Never Heard Of

Dee's Triumph: One of the Most Important Trans Victories You Never Heard Of

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 2:43pm

On August 21, 1989, Dee Farmer, a black, transgender woman, sued prison officials for the "mental anguish, psychological damage, humil[i]ation, swollen face, cuts and bruises to her mouth and lips and a cut on her back, as well as some bleeding" that…

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