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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
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."