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Litigation Heats Up Over Extreme Temperatures in Prisons, Jails

During a heatwave in the summer of 2017, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Medium Security Institution in St. Louis, Missouri, and chanted “shut it down,” after a video showing prisoners at the jail begging for relief from soaring temperatures went viral. But in Texas and elsewhere, prisoners have taken their complaints of extreme –

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Prison Education – Is it a Right or a Privilege?

Do you believe that education is right and not a privilege? According to a poll on debate.org, 69 percent of respondents say education is a basic human right, while 31 percent said it is a privilege. Now let’s get a little controversial. Assuming that the majority of Americans see education as a basic right, should it

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New York: Inhumanity in the Guise of Education at Rikers Island Jail

The New York City Board of Correction (BOC), which provides oversight of the city’s jails, has approved the use of controversial “restraint desks” for violent prisoners aged 18 to 21 held at the Rikers Island jail complex. The desks – used in classrooms where programming is provided – allow for free movement of the hands

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Palestinian Prisoners Stage Hunger Strike

Around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails launched a hunger strike on April 17, 2017, a date also known as Palestinian Prisoners Day. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, the strike was meant to protest the “difficult humanitarian conditions” inside Israeli prisons. Al Jazeera reported that the prisoners’ demands included bi-monthly family visitation,

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Seventh Circuit Approves Use of “Correctional Cure-All” and Insensitive Treatment of Sick Prisoner

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled against a prisoner who claimed that his serious medical needs were treated with deliberate indifference at an Illinois prison. Nathaniel Harper was imprisoned at Centralia Correctional Center when he became ill with stomach pains, vomiting and constipation. Harper alleged that nurse Terri Dean

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Research Shows Waning Support for Death Penalty in U.S.

The Death Penalty Information Center has released a report highlighting significant changes in the number of executions in the United States in 2016. According to the report, there were 20 executions in the U.S. during calendar year 2016 – the lowest number in 25 years. Additionally, juries imposed fewer death sentences than in any year

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Volunteers, Mayor Take Action to Clothe Freezing Prisoners in New York City

The New York City Department of Correction and city officials are rethinking their policy of releasing prisoners without jackets during frigid winter months. The New York Daily News reported in December 2016 that the city was routinely freeing prisoners from jail and court without proper winter clothing. Beleaguered public defenders and legal aid attorneys went so far

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American Institute of Architects Rejects Petition to Protect Human Rights

  The leading organization for the nation’s architects has rejected a call from some of its members to reject employment that would involve the design of certain prison facilities, such as execution chambers and Special Housing Unit cells. In February 2014, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was faced with a very troubling ethics petition.

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