Tag Archives: prison conditions

Unrestricted Shackling of Juveniles and Pregnant Women

Fact: 36 states allow the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in court rooms.

Fact: Only 18 states prohibit or restrict the shackling of pregnant prisoners, including during labor.

Fact: Roughly 12,000 women are pregnant at the time of incarceration, including thousands who give birth while incarcerated annually.

Source: DC Attorneys Want Juveniles Released from Shackles in Court, Washington Post; The Shackling of Pregnant Women and Girls in U.S. Prisons, Jails, and Youth Detention Centers; ACLU

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Three Years Without a Trial for a 16 Year Old

Fact: Kalief Browder spent more than 1000 days in jail on Rikers Island without a trial. He was first jailed when he was 16 years old.

Fact: In 2011, 74% of felony cases in the Bronx were older than six months.

Fact: At the beginning of 2013, there were 952 felony cases in the Bronx that were more than two years old.

Fact: In 2011, 165 felony cases in the Bronx went to trial. In 3,991, the defendant pleaded guilty.

Fact: in 2013, 27% of adolescent inmates on Rikers Island are in solitary confinement.

Source: Before The Law, The New Yorker

Alabama Prisons Face Chronic Issues

Fact: Alabama’s prisons have grown 840% since 1977. The state population has grown 23%.

Fact: In 1995, Alabama briefly re-introduced the chain gang for the first time in America in 30 years, before dropping the practice amid criticism and court challenges.

Fact: In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department ordered Alabama to stop chaining inmates to hitching posts, a widespread practice.

Fact: Alabama spends 1 of every 4 dollars in the state’s General Fund on prisons.

Source: Alabama’s Prison Problems, Al.com

Imprisonment To Pay Fees

Fact: Many services that were once free, including constitutionally protected ones, are increasingly subject to fee schedules. Failure to pay can result in imprisonment.

Fact: In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for their public defender’s services.

Fact: In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged for room and board during jail and prison stays.

Fact: In at least 44 states, offenders can be billed for their own probation and supervision.

Fact: In all states except Hawaii and the District of Columbia, there is a fee for electronic monitoring devices that defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.

Source: Guilty As Charged, NPR

 

Prisons As America’s New Asylums

Fact: There are approximately 10 times as many people with severe mental illness in prisons than there are in state psychiatric hospitals.

Fact: Approximately 15% of the prison population is estimated to suffer from severe mental illness, according to the Department of Justice.

Fact: In addition to the increased number of prisoners with mental illnesses, the severity of the illnesses is also rising.

Source: The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey, The Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriff’s Association

Monitoring and Banning Communication

Fact: The Bureau of Prisons places some prisoners in “Communication Management Units” where all communication by the inmate is monitored.

Fact: A proposed rule would limit the communication of those in a CMU with others outside of the prison to a single 15 minute phone call and three sheets of paper per month.

Fact: These communications are all monitored by the Bureau of Prisons.

Source: Federal Register & Equal Future