Tag: Prisons and Prisoners

The ‘Surreal’ Moment After Release From Prison

Op-Docs For these former inmates in Texas, the rush of emotions that accompany freedom play out at a Greyhound bus station. Video transcript Back 0:00/11:17 transcript Huntsville Station For these former inmates in Texas, the rush of emotions that accompany freedom play out at a Greyhound bus station. Ya’ll cash those checks, get your bus […]

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64 Shot, 10 Dead: Spike in Gun Violence Alarms an On-Edge N.Y.C.

A young father crossing a Bronx street, holding hands with his 6-year-old daughter. A 15-year-old who refused to talk to the police in Manhattan. A man in a Staten Island public housing complex, found prone in his apartment. They were among 64 people shot in a surge of shootings over the weekend in New York […]

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Stop Unnecessary Arrests to Slow Coronavirus Spread

Jails around the country have become a major breeding ground for the coronavirus. And as authorities arrest, book and release thousands of people charged with low-level offenses each day, they are unwittingly unleashing the virus on the outside world. My colleague Daniel Chen and I found this dynamic at work as people were processed in […]

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How Mandatory Minimums Are Weaponized

In the early morning hours of May 30, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman were arrested in Brooklyn after a night of citywide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. They are charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail through the broken window of an unoccupied police car. No one was hurt. Both have plead […]

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How Mandatory Minimums Are Weaponized

In the early morning hours of May 30, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman were arrested in Brooklyn after a night of citywide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. They are charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail through the broken window of an unoccupied police car. No one was hurt. Both have plead […]

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San Quentin Prison Was Free of the Virus. One Decision Fueled an Outbreak.

The coughing and complaints of sickness began as a procession of busloads of prisoners made its way late last month from a Southern California prison to San Quentin, California’s oldest and most widely known prison, perched on a bluff overlooking San Francisco Bay, not far from the Golden Gate Bridge. The inmates were being moved […]

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Judge Orders Roger Stone to Report to Prison Next Month

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday denied a request by President Trump’s friend Roger J. Stone Jr. for a two-month delay before he begins serving his prison term, despite the fact that his motion was unopposed by the Justice Department. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of […]

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The Coronavirus Crisis Inside Prisons Won’t Stay Behind Bars

The situation inside the nation’s jails and prisons amid the Covid-19 pandemic has become the stuff of nightmares. Overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, shortages of personal protective equipment (not to mention soap) and restrictions on hygiene products such as hand sanitizer have turned detention facilities into a playground for the virus and a death trap for inmates […]

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Secret Detentions Become a Common Tool of Repression Under Maduro

A crush of Venezuelan government agents entered the home brandishing guns but not a warrant, and took Ariana Granadillo away. Over the next week, they confined, beat, interrogated and nearly suffocated her, then let her go as abruptly as they had taken her in. While her sister searched for her for days, unable to pry […]

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Three Futures for the Police

American policing is going to emerge changed from this June of protest. The question is whether it will be altered for the better. So let’s consider three possible scenarios for change — one building on the current system, another more ambitious but also riskier, and a third to be avoided at all costs. The grand […]

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Arrested for Waving Rainbow Flag, a Gay Egyptian Takes Her Life

CAIRO — When the openly gay frontman of a hugely popular Lebanese pop group strutted onto the stage of a Cairo summer festival in 2017, rainbow flags lifted in the air, and something sparked inside Sarah Hegazi. As a lesbian in a country where homosexuality is taboo, and gay people are routinely persecuted by the […]

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There’s No Reason for an Architect to Design a Death Chamber

Like many organizations in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, the board of the American Institute of Architects issued a statement the other day expressing solidarity with protesters — and offering a mea culpa. “We were wrong not to address and work to correct the built world’s role in perpetuating systemic racial injustice,” the statement […]

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How Crowdsourcing Aided a Push to Preserve the Histories of Nazi Victims

While the coronavirus pandemic has painfully upended lives and businesses around the world, the lockdowns it caused are providing a unique boost for one group’s effort to help heal a generations-old wound: Nazi atrocities. As the virus prompted lockdowns across Europe, the director of the Arolsen Archives — the world’s largest devoted to the victims of […]

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Don’t Bar Ex-Offenders From Coronavirus Aid Funds

Six weeks after the Paycheck Protection Program began pumping hundreds of billions of dollars in lifelines to businesses affected by shutdowns, one group of entrepreneurs remains frozen out of resources: those who have previous criminal history. The Small Business Administration’s decision to exclude these members of our community from the payroll loans has caused great […]

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A Filmmaker Put Away for Tax Fraud Takes Us Inside a British Prison

There’s lockdown, and then there’s lockdown. Chris Atkins, a successful English filmmaker, got involved in a tax-dodging scheme to finance a documentary. He was sentenced to five years in prison, and was sent to Wandsworth — one of the largest, oldest and unruliest prisons in Britain. If he stood on the dismal toilet in his […]

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What Can We Learn from the Coronavirus in Prisons

As political leaders across the United States seek to make informed decisions about when to “reopen” based on inadequate scientific information, 2,500 men in an Ohio prison may hold the key to hold the key to releasing the rest of the country from coronavirus lockdown. Such widespread infection in our crowded prisons is a reminder […]

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Michael Cohen, Ex-Trump Lawyer, to Leave Prison Early Because of Virus

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, will be released from a federal prison on Thursday on furlough, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said on Wednesday. He had asked to be released over health concerns tied to the coronavirus. One law enforcement official briefed on the matter said it was expected that […]

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Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead

For one Rikers Island correction officer, the low point came when he and his wife were both extremely sick with the coronavirus. She could hardly breathe and begged him to make sure she was not buried in a mass grave, he recalled. He was sure he had contracted the disease working in the jailhouse, where […]

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U.S. Prison Population Remained Stable as Pandemic Grew

The United States prison population remained stable in the early months of the year, decreasing by just 1.6 percent from January through March even as prisons emerged as incubators for the spread of Covid-19, according to a report released on Thursday. The prison population in five states — Idaho, Iowa, South Carolina, West Virginia and […]

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In Italy, Some Fear the Virus Is a Get-Out-of-Jail Card for Mafiosi

ROME — They were among the most vulnerable as the coronavirus roared through Italy: older or riddled with serious underlying medical conditions. A brush with the virus within the confines of the place where they woke up each morning might seriously threaten their lives. They were also maximum-security inmates, international drug traffickers and affiliates of […]

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The Horror of Prison During the Coronavirus

I have been wondering what to say about the horror of Covid-19 behind bars. Much has already been written about the scale of the crisis, the moral argument for freeing people from prisons and jails, and the utter inadequacy of the response in many states, including New York. Activists, community leaders, medical experts and family […]

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The Women’s Jail at Rikers Island Is Named for My Grandmother. She Would Not Be Proud.

In 1988, my family and I were honored when New York City named the new women’s jail on Rikers Island for my grandmother, Rose M. Singer, a longtime jail reform activist. The Rose M. Singer Center was supposed to be a beacon to the world, a place where women caught up in the criminal justice […]

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Unjust Convictions Must Become a Justice Department Priority

In 2003, Greg Elking wrote a letter to his minister. Mr. Elking was the sole witness to a murder nine years before. On the strength of his eyewitness identification, jurors convicted a man named Lamar Johnson of the crime. But it wasn’t true, as Mr. Elking confessed in his anguished letter. “The reason I’m telling […]

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To Fight Virus in Prisons, C.D.C. Suggests More Screenings

Jails and prisons are among the most challenging places to control the outbreak of the coronavirus. Similar to cruise ships and nursing homes, detention facilities have crowded living spaces and shared dining areas, as well as communal bathrooms and a lack of space to isolate infected detainees, all of which makes physical distancing practices difficult […]

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After the Virus: California Liberals Say Returning to Normal Won’t Be Enough

LOS ANGELES — Housing for the homeless. Criminal justice reform. Addressing the digital divide for schoolchildren in rural areas. Propelled by the urgency of the coronavirus crisis, and despite severe economic headwinds, liberal Californians see this moment as an opening to push through an agenda that addresses some of the state’s most intractable and long-debated […]

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