Women in Prisons are often Women in Shadow

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Sarah Reed was a tragic victim of how the prison system treats women

mentalillinprison

Sarah Reed was a tragic victim of how the prison system treats women

A young woman with profound mental health problems should have been given help. Instead, she was let down by every authority she encountered

‘Sarah Reed’s story could well be that of so many women in prison today who have experienced bereavement and abuse.’
‘Sarah Reed’s story could well be that of so many women in prison today who have experienced bereavement and abuse.’ Photograph: Lee Jasper

An Inspector Calls describes how a young woman is let down by authority figures. The morality play lambasts powerful individuals for exploiting and abusing a woman who dies in abject misery. I was reminded of it this week on hearing about the death of Sarah Reed, who appears to have taken her own life while on remand at Holloway prison in north London following years…

View original post 256 more words

Beyond Punishment: Preview: A Miami Herald I-Team Investigation into Corruption and Sexual Abuse in the Largest Women’s Prison in the Nation, Lowell Correctional.

Beyond Punishment: Preview

December 10, 2015

Coming Sunday: A Miami Herald I-Team investigation into corruption and sexual abuse in the largest women’s prison in the nation, Lowell Correctional.
EMILY MICHOT  / emichot@miamiherald.com

 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article50759150.html

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article48972605.html#storylink=cpy

 

passengerpigeon9314source:dearkitty

I WISH ALL WOMEN IN PRISON HOPE & THAT THEY DARE TO SPEAK ABOUT …

Maghaberry prison officer arrested over alleged inmate affair

HumansinShadow.wordpress.com

Maghaberry prison officer arrested over alleged inmate affair

Media captionThe officer has been suspended from duty while it is understood the prisoner has been moved to an isolation unit within the jail

A female officer at Maghaberry Prison has been arrested over an alleged sexual affair with a convicted loyalist killer.

The officer has also been suspended from duty while it is understood the prisoner has been moved to an isolation unit within the jail.

He and the officer had both been working in the prison kitchens.

The BBC has learned the police were called in after a covert intelligence operation by the prison authorities.

They had become concerned that the pair had formed an inappropriate relationship.

The officer was arrested and is facing a charge of gross misconduct in public office.

The prisoner involved is Robert Young from Portadown.

Maghaberry Prison
Image caption Authorities at Maghaberry Prison became concerned that…

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Why hasn’t President Obama granted clemency to a single Latina inmate?

Why hasn’t President Obama granted clemency to a single Latina inmate?

 

Last month, President Obama announced a new series of pardons and commutations for federal prisoners, just like he has for the past three years, just before the First Family leaves for their Christmas vacation.

Since he took office, Obama has commuted the sentences of 184 federal prisoners, many of whom were sentenced to life without parole for nonviolent drug crimes. After the most recent round last month, he has now commuted more inmates than the last five presidents combined.

On December 19, 2013, I was one of the people he chose. At the time, I was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime. In total, I spent 17 years behind bars for a crime committed at age 21. I was the first Latino man to receive clemency from President Obama, and I will be eternally grateful that he gave me a second chance.

But I’m baffled that of the 184 individuals who have received his mercy in the last seven years, not one has been a Latina. Latinas make up about 17% of the U.S. population and 33% of the women’s federal prison population. They are three times more likely to go to prison than white women. And the number of Latinos sent to federal prison nearly quadrupled between 1991 and 2007. There’s no shortage of worthy Latina candidates for a presidential clemency.

Take, for example, Elisa Castillo, a 56-year-old grandmother who unknowingly smuggled cocaine on tour buses from Mexico to Houston. Because she had no information to negotiate a plea bargain with, she was indicted for conspiracy, went to trial, and received life without parole.

Then there’s Rita Becerra, who was arrested because of her involvement with her boyfriend’s drug dealing. Rita cooperated with the prosecution against her boyfriend, but because he cooperated too, he got just nine years and Rita 27 years—she has been in prison over 20 years.

And Josephine Ledezma, who in 1992 was sentenced to life without parole for a nonviolent drug crime: she is now 57 and has been in prison 24 years.

President Obama has urged members of Congress to reform our broken criminal justice system and spoken eloquently about racial disparities in sentencing. One might want to blame him for failing to help incarcerated Latinas like these women, but the Latino community shoulders the blame as well. To my great disappointment, Latino groups like the National Council of La Raza or LULAC have not only remained silent about the president’s failure to commute the sentence of a single Latina, but also haven’t done enough to highlight the abuses of the War on Drugs more generally. This is a disgrace.

The War on Drugs should be called the War on Minorities. Harsh drug sentencing has deeply hurt the black and hispanic communities, especially our children. Studies show our drug policies have done more harm than good by breaking up families and decimating communities of color. Brown lives matter, too.

Only in November 2015 did prominent Latino leaders first join with the Drug Policy Alliance to call attention to the war on drugs and to discuss methods for getting Latinos involved in ending this madness. And yet, Telemundo, Univision, and other Latino news sources were nowhere to be found at this important meeting. Maybe whatever Donald Trump had to say that day was far more important to these news agencies, rather than real issues discussed by Latinos who went to D.C. and Capitol Hill.

President Obama has one year left in office, and many fear the next president will not be as forgiving. Nonviolent Latina drug offenders like Elisa, Rita, Josephine, and others will more than likely die in prison if President Obama doesn’t commute their sentences. He shouldn’t delay any longer.

Jason Hernandez received a clemency from President Obama in December 2013 after being sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug charge. He was the first Latino to receive clemency from President Obama. He’s since founded Crack Open the Door, a nonprofit that advocates for sentencing reform.

PERHAPS IT´S TIME TO DIG DEEPER: Aboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison populationAboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison population

nativelifesmatter

Aboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison population

Poverty-related crimes are becoming ‘life-sentences’ for aboriginal women, NWAC says

CBC NewsPosted: May 27, 2015 12:00 PM ETLast Updated: May 28, 2015 7:05 AM ET

The number of aboriginal women in Canadian prisons is on the rise, according to the federal prison watchdog and the Native Women’s Association of Canada wants justice officials to do something about it.

Women of aboriginal descent now make up more than 35 per cent of the female prison population, Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, told CBC News this week. Aboriginal women represent about four per cent of the general population.

Howard Sapers 300

Howard Sapers is the outgoing Correctional Investigator of Canada.

Sapers said he’s disappointed he’ll be unable to continue working to improve outcomes of aboriginal women in prison. The Conservative government is planning to replace Sapers with a new ombudsman this year.

“We need…

View original post 296 more words

PERHAPS IT´S TIME TO DIG DEEPER: Aboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison populationAboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison population

nativelifesmatter

Aboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison population

Poverty-related crimes are becoming ‘life-sentences’ for aboriginal women, NWAC says

CBC NewsPosted: May 27, 2015 12:00 PM ETLast Updated: May 28, 2015 7:05 AM ET

The number of aboriginal women in Canadian prisons is on the rise, according to the federal prison watchdog and the Native Women’s Association of Canada wants justice officials to do something about it.

Women of aboriginal descent now make up more than 35 per cent of the female prison population, Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, told CBC News this week. Aboriginal women represent about four per cent of the general population.

Howard Sapers 300

Howard Sapers is the outgoing Correctional Investigator of Canada.

Sapers said he’s disappointed he’ll be unable to continue working to improve outcomes of aboriginal women in prison. The Conservative government is planning to replace Sapers with a new ombudsman this year.

“We need…

View original post 296 more words

Could One of These Cases Spell the End of the Death Penalty?

HumansinShadow.wordpress.com

Filed 7:15 a.m.

Analysis

Could One of These Cases Spell the End of the Death Penalty?

Abolitionists seek the perfect case for a Supreme Court challenge.

Last June, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the death penalty might be close to its ultimate demise. “Rather than try to patch up the death penalty’s legal wounds one at a time,” he wrote in a dissent to Glossip v. Gross, to which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added her name, “I would ask for a full briefing on a more basic question: whether the death penalty violates the Constitution.”

Attorneys for death-row inmates, generally a tight-knit group, immediately started talking about what to do next. While some urged caution — arguing that if the court upholds capital punishment it could set their cause back indefinitely — others sensed a rare opportunity. The most outspoken advocates…

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