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“Earlier this week, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division released a summary of its findings on the state of Alabama’s prisons. The accounts are stomach-churning: The New York Times noted that one prisoner had been lying dead for so long that “his face was flattened,” while another “was tied up and tortured for two days.” A dive into the 53-page report reveals yet more horror. One prisoner was doused with bleach and beaten with a broken mop handle. Another was attacked with shaving cream so hot that it caused chemical burns, requiring treatment from an outside hospital.
It’s hardly news that American prisons and jails can be dangerous places. But the Justice Department’s report mirrors other recent accounts of inmate deaths and violence across the country that, taken together, paint a grim picture of the brutality that occurs behind prison walls—and the horrifying consequences of America’s indifference to it.
Two years in the making, the federal investigation of men’s prisons in Alabama found them plagued with “severe, systemic, and exacerbated” violations of prisoners’ Eighth Amendment rights. Rates of prisoner-on-prisoner violence have roughly doubled in the state over the past five years, with a homicide rate eight times the national average. Guards told federal investigators that half to three-quarters of prisoners have some kind of improvised weapon. “A weapon that was essentially a small sword was recovered at St. Clair in 2017,” the report said.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."