[Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.]
Az ISIS emberei bírósági tárgyalás után végeztek Moszulban Szamira Szalih el-Nuaimivel: a saját szabályaik szerint ítélkező testület hitehagyásban találta bűnösnek a fiatal nőt. A kivégzés nyilvános volt, a tárgyalás előtt öt napig kínozták az ismert emberi jogi aktivistát – közölte az iraki ENSZ-mi…
The [Justice] Short List 9-26-14
WATCH: NYPD Officers Slam Pregnant Woman on Street—Belly First
Early Saturday morning, the NYPD’s 72nd Precinct in Brooklyn was attempting to arrest Sandra Amezquita’s 17-year-old son, Jhohan Lemos. Amezquita, who is five months pregnant, intervened in the police altercation because she believed they were unfairly targeting her son and using excessive force. Police quickly manhandled her, eventually shoving her to the ground, belly first.
The incident was captured on video with a cell phone. You can see officers take down Amezquita and then throw another woman, who was rushing over to her, to the ground.
Dennis Flores, a member of a local police watch group El Grito de Sunset Park, told  ABC News:
“What we see is a woman who’s trying to protect her son, who is being stopped and frisked by police, and she became a victim. Slammed onto the floor … Her belly is now with black and blue bruises. She’s bleeding and she’s having complications.”
Amezquita’s lawyer Sanford Rubenstein told  the Associated Press that there’s “no way to tell” if the baby is harmed. He added that “It’s clear to me when an incident like this occurs you understand why police community relations are at an all-time low.”
The incident comes less than a week after the same NYPD Precinct was caught  on video kicking a street vendor on the ground. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton eventually admitted  that the use of force was “totally unprovoked.”
And in terms of using force against pregnant women, this is surely not an NYPD first. Just last month, officers were caught  putting a woman who was seven months pregnant in a chokehold. This is despite the fact that chokeholds have been banned  in the NYPD for 20 years.
Police said Lemos was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and harassment. Amezquita was charged with disorderly conduct. Her husband was charged with assaulting an officer while trying to intervene.
A video of taken of the family a day after the incident shows  scrapes on Amezquita’s belly and bruises on Lemos’ face. Chief Police Spokesman Steve Davis told  the Associated Press that internal affairs will be investigating the incident.
Please contact the politicians and CDCR representatives listed at the end of this press release to
Being in physical distress locked in a cell turns into a truly terrifying experience when you can hear the cops banter with each other about you being a “crybaby”…and “they’ll get to it” when they have finished cutting it up with each other. It’s especially terrifying when you are experiencing symptoms you don’t understand & you have witnessed others calling for help only to learn that person didn’t survive.
-Sonja Marcus, formerly incarcerated woman, survived 18 years in prison
On July 30, 2014 a woman committed suicide in the Solitary Housing Unit (SHU) of the California Institution for Women (CIW), in Corona. According to information gathered by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), there have been seven preventable deaths at CIW so far in 2014 and three attempted suicides since July alone. None of these deaths have been made public by CIW or CDCR although they signify a state of crisis in the prison.
Prison officials have failed to inform bereaved family members of these deaths in a timely and respectful manner. Margie Kobashigawa, the mother of 30-year-old Alicia Thompson, who died of an alleged suicide on February 24, 2014 in the SHU, was ignored by prison staff. “Nobody from the prison would call me back, nobody would talk to me. I was planning to pick up my daughter’s body and suddenly CIW was trying to cremate her again, and quickly. To me it’s like they’re trying to hide everything,” said Margie. As she prepared her daughter for burial, she found no signs of hanging trauma to her body and has reason to believe her daughter died from some other type of violent force. On March 13, 2014 Shadae Schmidt, a 32-year-old African American woman, died in the CIW SHU. Shadae had a stroke in February 2014 and was prematurely returned to the SHU. She was given medication that made her sick but her requests for a change in prescription fell on deaf ears; and then she died.
CCWP received information regarding these two deaths from friends and family members, but other deaths, suicides and attempted suicides remain shrouded in mystery. The majority of people in the SHU have some type of mental health problem, which is exacerbated by solitary confinement. CCWP continues to hear reports that there is no medical staff to monitor people’s vital signs and mental states when physical and mental health crises occur. People scream for help and get no response at all.
Since the closure of Valley State Women’s Prison in January 2013, overcrowding at CIW has skyrocketed. Medical care has significantly deteriorated and there has been a dramatic increase in the population of the SHU and other disciplinary segregation units. Overcrowding has aggravated mental health issues causing an increase in the number of mentally disabled people in the SHU even though this is the worst place to put them.
In August 2014, in response to a court order, the CDCR released revised policies to reduce the number of people with mental health diagnoses in isolation. Policy changes are only useful if they are implemented. It is crucial for the CDCR to transfer all people with mental health issues out of the CIW SHU as soon as possible in accordance with the court order.
Despite decades of lawsuits to remedy prison health care and court orders to reduce prison overcrowding, the inhuman conditions inside CA women’s prisons continue and have led to these tragic, violent and untimely deaths. In order to reverse the crisis atCIW,CCWP calls for the following immediate actions:
- Immediate transfer of all prisoners with mental health issues from the SHU and implementation of care programs.
- Increased healthcare staffing and care for people in the SHU.
- An independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding all deaths at CIW in 2014.
- Reduction of overcrowding through the implementation of existing release programs rather than transfers to other equally problematic prisons and jails.
For more information contact: California Coalition for Women Prisoners at (415) 255-7035 ext. 314 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE CALL, EMAIL, WRITE or FAX these people with the demands above:
Sara Malone, Chief Ombudsman
Kimberly Hughes, Warden CIW
Tel: (909) 597-1771
Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson
District 19, Senate Budget Committee
Vice-Chair of Women’s Caucus
Assemblymember Nancy Skinner
District 15, Women’s Caucus
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
Senator Mark Leno
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Holly Mitchell
District 26, Women’s Caucus
Public Safety Committee (916) 651-4015
Senator Jim Beall
District 15, Senate Budget Committee
Jay Virbel, Associate Director of Female Offender Programs & Services
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 95811
Jeffrey Beard, CDCR Secretary
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 95811
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