Thirteen Years After 9/11: How Expensive is Guantánamo Justice?

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Imagine how the billions being spent by the U.S. on the never-ending imprisonment and proceedings against alleged 9/11 terrorists could be used to support health care and other social services in the U.S.—a first-hand report on what’s happening in Cuba. After spending a week at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base (GTMO, or Gitmo) serving as an […]

How Prison Killed Sex Worker Marcia Powell

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In 2009, filmmaker PJ Starr received an email from a friend bringing news of the horrific and unnecessary death of Marcia Powell. Powell had been serving a 27-month sentence for solicitation of prostitution. While in Perryville Prison outside of Phoenix, corrections officers left her out in a metal cage for four hours in searing heat. As a […]

Back to the Big House

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As avid fans know, the second season of Netflix’s hit show, Orange is the New Black, has been released. The series is a fictionalized version of the real-life story of Piper Kerman, an upper-middle-class white woman who was sentenced to over a year in prison for committing a drug-smuggling-related crime 10 years earlier. Piper Chapman […]

Probation for Raping a 3-Year-Old?

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A mind-boggling report in a Delaware newspaper recently revealed that Robert H. Richards IV, heir to the DuPont chemical fortune, pleaded guilty in 2009 to raping his then-3-year-old daughter, but got off without a lick of jail time. Instead, Judge Jan Jurden sentenced him to eight years probation. Richards’ crime—fourth-degree rape—is a felony that carries a […]

Call to Disrobe Victim-Blaming Montana Judge

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Last Thursday, September 26, Mr. Stacy Rambold was released from Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge after serving a 30-day sentence. That  may sound like just punishment for shoplifting or vandalism—but for rape? Rambold, a former schoolteacher, was convicted of the 2007 statutory rape of 14-year-old student Cherice Moralez. Just before her 17th birthday, Moralez—who […]

Marissa Alexander Gets New Trial

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A Florida woman currently serving 20 years in prison for firing a shot in the vicinity of her abusive husband will get a new trial–but she can’t claim protection under the state’s infamous “stand your ground” law, an appeals court ruled Thursday. No one was hurt in the incident, but mandatory sentencing laws required Marissa […]

Women Inmates Were Sterilized in California Prisons

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According to a recent article by The Center for Investigative Reporting, doctors at two California women’s prisons—the California Institute for Women in Corona and the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla (now a men’s prison)—unlawfully sterilized at least 148 women inmates between 2006 and 2010. For those of you wondering if we were actually […]

What’s the Connection Between Violence Against Women and Our Prison Nation?

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As CeCe McDonald lingers in jail for being a Black transwoman who defended herself in a public space, and Kelley Williams-Bolar is convicted of a felony for sending her children to a higher-ranked Ohio school district in which she did not reside, it’s time to read Beth E. Richie’s  Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and […]

17-Year-Old Imprisoned for Failing To Testify Against Her Alleged Rapist

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Update 4/17/12: After more than three weeks in juvenile detention, the victim has been released with a GPS ankle bracelet. She is scheduled to appear in court on April 23. In Sacramento, a county judge has taken “victim-blaming” to a whole new level, ordering that a rape victim be jailed while awaiting the trial of […]

The Awful Truth About Women’s Lives in Prison

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Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prison provides a chilling glimpse of the human rights abuses suffered by women in U.S. prisons.  The book is essentially a set of edited interview transcripts, with each chapter providing a first-person account of a different currently or formerly incarcerated woman. What these narrators reveal about their […]