Prison Topics

Democracy Now! stories, posts and pages that relate to Prison

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  • Turner_headshot
    In a major victory for prisoner rights advocates, President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unfair sentences for drug crimes. Most of the six men and two women had been sentenced to life in prison for charges related to crack cocaine. All of them have already spent more than 15 years behind bars under what Obama called an "unfair system," where there was a 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack...
    Dec 20, 2013 | Story
  • Jasonhernandez
    We speak with Jason Hernandez of McKinney, Texas, about his reaction to being one of the eight inmates whose sentences were commuted by President Obama on Thursday. "It’s a dream come true. I just hope this is the beginning of more to come," Hernandez says in a phone call from prison. He describes how he was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1998 for his role in a drug conspiracy starting when he was only 15 years old....
    Dec 20, 2013 | Story
  • Obama-turkey-pardon
    As President Obama continued a recent tradition of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys just ahead of Thanksgiving, critics pointed out that he has shown less mercy toward human beings deserving of clemency. Despite the administration’s recent talk of reforming the criminal justice system, Obama has granted the fewest pardons of any modern president. During his presidency, Obama has pardoned 10 turkeys, while he has pardoned...
    Dec 02, 2013 | Story
  • Aclu1
    A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls "extreme racial disparities." The crimes that led to life sentences...
    Nov 15, 2013 | Story
  • Sandyfonzo_judgeciavarella
    We turn to the latest news in the so-called "kids-for-cash" scandal in Pennsylvania, in which judges took money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails. In 2011, former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was convicted of accepting bribes for putting juveniles into detention centers operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western Pennsylvania Child Care. Ciavarella and another judge,...
    Oct 23, 2013 | Story
  • Prisons_for_profit_youth
    We look at a major new investigation into how Youth Services International, a private prison company that runs juvenile detention centers, is rapidly expanding its services, despite a record of abuse and neglect over the past 25 years. Despite allegations that include the neglect and abuse of young prisoners and the bribing of public officials to win contracts, Youth Services International has expanded its contracts to operate juvenile prisons...
    Oct 23, 2013 | Story
  • Amys_column_default
    After close to 42 years in solitary confinement, Herman Wallace is free.
    Oct 03, 2013 | Columns & Articles
  • Wallace2
    UPDATE: Angola 3 member Herman Wallace died early today, on Friday October 4, just three days after being released from prison in Louisiana after 42 years in solitary confinement.
    Oct 01, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Henry2
    We broadcast from New Orleans, Louisiana, the heart of the world’s prison capital, where more people are behind bars any other state per capita — an incarceration rate 13 times that of China. Louisiana also ranks among the highest in the country in terms of the number of people per capita who are exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit. We are joined by Henry James, the longest-serving prisoner to be...
    Sep 30, 2013 | Story
  • Wallace
    Angola prisoner Herman Wallace is dying of liver cancer after 42 years in solitary confinement. A member of the so-called Angola Three, Wallace and two others were in jail for armed robbery, then accused in 1972 of murdering a prison guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison. The men say they were framed because of their political activism as members one of the first prison chapters of the Black Panther Party. Wallace’s...
    Sep 30, 2013 | Story