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Sarah Lazare – The Scandal of Chemical Weapons in U.S. Prisons

Originally launched as a tool of trench combat during World War I, tear gas has been used around the world over the past century to enforce colonial rule, quell popular protests and aid in ethnic cleansing of civilians. This “riot control agent” was banned as a “method of war” by the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty that went …

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Christina Sarich – REVOLUTIONARY PRISON SYSTEM TEACHES ORGANIC FARMING TO FIGHT RECIDIVISM

Philadelphia, PA — Philadelphia’s prison system fights recidivism with butternut squash. While over-incarceration does nothing to make America safer, at least one state is working to make sure that inmates learn a skill that has been proven to keep them from returning to prison – organic farming. Even the setting of the small prison farm is an odd juxtaposition to the …

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ERIC LICHTBLAU – Thousands Held in Federal Prisons for Too Long, Report Finds

More than 4,300 federal inmates were kept in prison beyond their scheduled release dates from 2009 to 2014 — some of them for an extra year or more, according to a report released on Tuesday that highlighted wide confusion in the prison system. The findings by the Justice Department’s inspector general are a potential embarrassment for the United States Bureau …

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Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill Led to Spike in Black Incarcerations

The US crime bill that former President Bill Clinton approved while in office led to a surge in the imprisonment of black people during the 1990s and subsequent years, an African American journalist in Detroit says. “The Clinton administration signed the ominous crime bill during the mid-1990s which was very instrumental in the incarceration and judicial supervision of hundreds of …

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Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux – We Have Become Spectators of Instead of Witnesses to the Violence of Our Times

The following is an excerpt from the new book  Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle [3] by Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux (City Lights Books, 2015):  Despite the daily spectacles of violence to which we are all continually subjected, never before has the selection and careful manipulation of violent aesthetics been so heavily policed, in …

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Andre Damon – The cover-up of torture in America’s prisons

Last week, the New York Times reported allegations that prison guards systematically tortured inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York following the high profile escape of two inmates. More than 60 prisoners filed complaints claiming that they suffered abuse, including beatings, stranglings and death threats. Most significant, however, was the apparent personal involvement of New York Governor Andrew …