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Posts tagged: prison

Idaho #10 In Imprisoning Citizens

Last year, 1.57 million Americans served prison sentences in state or federal penitentiaries, a slight decrease from nearly 1.6 million in 2011, according to figures released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Despite the decline, the United States still incarcerates people at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. According to the BJS report “Prisoners in 2012,” for every 100,000 Americans, an estimated 480 people were serving at least a one-year sentence in a state prison during the year. In some states, the rate of incarceration was much higher. Louisiana, the state with the highest rate, sentenced 893 people to a state prison for every 100,000 residents. Based on the BJS release, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states that send the most people to prison/Yahoo! Finance. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Idaho is No. 10?

Idaho Inmate Faces Fraud Charges

It’s clear that Mark Brown is a smart guy, maybe even borderline brilliant. But what’s astounding is the way he apparently pulled off a major, years-long financial fraud, taking in big corporations, courts and attorneys across the nation, all from behind bars in an Idaho prison cell. Brown had no access to the Internet and appears to have had no accomplices or outside help. Instead, investigators believe he used a cherished electric typewriter that he was allowed to keep in his small, spare cell, and legal ads found in national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, to make fraudulent claims in big class-action lawsuits and bankruptcies. The story is detailed in my two-part series in The Spokesman-Review’s Sunday and Monday editions; you can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Can anyone explain why someone this smart wastes his time on con games rather than being a banker or stock broker?

‘Gladiator’ School Shuts Out Public

Corrections Corporation of America doesn't want you knowing too much about the “Gladiator School” it's operating out of the Idaho Correctional Center near Boise. Even though it's taking more than $29 million of your tax dollars every year, the company went to court last week to keep you in the dark about a lawsuit inmates in the violence-ridden ICC have filed. Were ICC managed by Idaho's Department of Correction, the institution's management would be accountable to the public. But as a private company, CCA answers to no one but its shareholders. As such, it has no problem shutting the public out/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did Idaho make a bad decision by privatizing this prison?

FB Status: Prison food sucks

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – Prisoners in the state of South Carolina caught with banned cell phones, which are often tossed over a prison fence to them, can face solitary confinement and loss of visitation and canteen privileges.

But those caught updating their status on their Facebook page, by cell phone or any other means, might soon be looking at 30 extra days behind bars and a $500 fine.

Representative Wendell Gilliard, a Democrat from Charleston, has introduced a bill that would make it unlawful for an inmate to be a member of any internet social-networking site, and would provide a penalty on conviction for the offense.

Oh gosh! Hope none of my FB friends are posting status updates from the pen!
Do accept FB friendship request from people you don't know?

Idaho Guards Watch Inmate Attack

The surveillance video from the overhead cameras shows Hanni Elabed being beaten by a fellow inmate in an Idaho prison, managing to bang on a prison guard station window, pleading for help. Behind the glass, correctional officers look on, but no one intervenes when Elabed was knocked unconscious. No one steps into the cellblock when the attacker sits down to rest, and no one stops him when he resumes the beating. Videos of the attack obtained by The Associated Press show officers watching the beating for several minutes. The footage is a key piece of evidence for critics who claim the privately run Idaho Correctional Center uses inmate-on-inmate violence to force prisoners to snitch on their cellmates or risk being moved to extremely violent units/Rebecca Boone, AP. More here. (AP photo: An inmate attacks fellow inmate Hanni Elabed at the privately-run Idaho Correctional Center.) H/T: Bent.

Question: Should Idaho farm out oversight of prisons to private companies? And/or: Do you care if inmates beat on one another?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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