Sharanda Purlette Jones is an African-American woman, who has been incarcerated for more than 14 years. She is 45 years old and has a twenty-two year-old daughter named Clenesha Garland. She has no more appeals. A petition for commutation is pending. She was sentenced to life without parole for the nonviolent crimes involving crack cocaine, which “co-conspirators” told prosecutors she had committed.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday November 13, 2013 5:40 pm|
|By: Jesse Lava Saturday October 19, 2013 12:50 pm|
Eric Amparan likes the system the way it is now. As a bail bondsman, he’s part of an industry that pulls in $2 billion in revenue every year. Eric lays out how he profits off of financial desperation in our latest video in the Prison Profiteers series:
Here’s how it typically works: If you’re booked into jail, you can either sit in a cell for months waiting for your trial — losing your job and missing your childcare commitments in the process — or you can pay bail to the court. Bail functions like a promise; the court will return it to you when you show up for your court date.
|By: Jesse Lava Wednesday August 21, 2013 6:24 pm|
Next week, it will be 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech. He railed then against “the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination,” contending that the African-American was “an exile in his own land.” Yet he could not have imagined that Jim Crow would soon be replaced with another oppressive system: mass incarceration.
|By: Jesse Lava Tuesday May 21, 2013 5:40 pm|
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) says federal aid to his home state after the tornado should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. We’ll see how well the ideological integrity holds up if offsets aren’t quickly found, but nevertheless, the question of how to fund disaster relief is increasingly urgent. It arose late last year when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast.
Though we cannot know whether man-made climate change was specifically responsible for either of those acts of nature, we do know federal spending to cope with extreme weather events has been rising. Indeed, from 2011 to 2013, the federal government has spent $136 billion on disaster relief.
|By: Jesse Lava Thursday May 2, 2013 8:00 pm|
By now you’ve probably heard about Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old Florida girl who botched a science experiment with a plastic bottle and toilet cleaner. The bottle ended up exploding, and though no one was hurt and no property damaged, Kiera was expelled from high school and is now being prosecuted as an adult for discharging a weapon on school grounds. She had an exemplary behavioral record up until that point.
|By: Jesse Lava Saturday March 2, 2013 12:48 pm|
The debate over Florida Atlantic University’s decision to name a football stadium after a notorious private prison company has descended into deception.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday January 25, 2013 7:25 pm|
An HBO documentary on the right that everyone has to a defense lawyer when they are charged with a crime, even if they cannot afford one, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film “Gideon’s Army,” was featured on “Democracy Now!” this morning.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday June 19, 2012 2:15 pm|
An historic congressional hearing on solitary confinement in United States prisons was held today by the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. Chaired by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, it was the first-ever hearing on the use of isolation in prisons and the human rights, fiscal and public safety consequences created.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday February 20, 2012 12:55 pm|
The Occupy movement is holding a national day of action in support of prisoners. This post will be following the actions as they unfold. Updates will be posted regularly through the rest of the afternoon and evening.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday September 9, 2011 5:01 pm|
The government’s long-running war on drugs is having little impact, according to documents just released. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) of the Justice Department reports demand for drugs is rising and the demand is being supplied by major transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) or cartels, which adapt to government “counterdrug efforts” modifying interrelationships, altering drug production levels and adjusting trafficking routes and methods.