CMUs/Prison Conditions

  • Young black man jailed since April for alleged $5 theft found dead in cell

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 28, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. A young black man arrested by police in Portsmouth, Virginia, on the same day that one of the city’s officers fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old, has been found dead in jail after spending almost four months behind bars without bail for stealing groceries worth $5. Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was discovered lying on the floor of his cell by guards early last Wednesday, according to authorities. While his body is still awaiting an autopsy, senior prison officials said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

     
  • Chelsea Manning found guilty for prison contraband, including Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 19, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Washington Post. Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday on four disciplinary charges and given 21 days of recreational restrictions for breaking military prison rules — keeping expired toothpaste and Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover, among other things, in her cell, her attorney said. Manning’s attorney, Chase Strangio with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement Manning was convicted during a four-hour, closed-door disciplinary hearing without legal representation. A message from Manning’s Twitter account said her restrictions include “no gym, library or outdoors.”

     
  • Chelsea Manning denied access to legal library prior to prison hearing, she says

    Source: The Guardian. Chelsea Manning, the soldier and Guardian columnist, has been denied access to a prison legal library days before a crucial hearing at which she will represent herself against charges including possession of unapproved reading material, according to a message posted to her official Twitter account at the weekend. The hearing is part of a legal process that could result in indefinite solitary confinement for Manning, for reported violations that also include storing a tube of expired toothpaste in her military prison cell.

     
  • Jeb Bush is not the only 2016 candidate open to torture

    CMUs/Prison Conditions August 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Time. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s statement Thursday that he would not rule out resuming the use of enhanced interrogation techniques was as interesting for what he said as what he didn’t. The Republican presidential candidate told a group of Iowa Republicans that he wasn’t sure whether he’d repeal an executive order banning certain interrogation techniques signed by President Obama. Bush’s position is not all that out of step with his Republican rivals. Many in the 2016 field have a similar view: They aren’t enthusiastic about torture and probably wouldn’t use techniques like waterboarding on people suspected of terrorism, but they don’t want to say exactly what they would and wouldn’t do. The position boils down to three words: Just trust us.

     
  • Guantánamo hunger striker’s petition divides officials

    Source: The New York Times. Obama administration officials are divided over what to do about a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who has been on a hunger strike since February 2007 and now weighs less than 75 pounds, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.A lawyer for the detainee, a Yemeni named Tariq Ba Odah, has asked a federal judge to order his release because of his “severe physical and psychological deterioration.”

     
  • Ex-CIA boss admits to BBC Panorama that it tortured

    Source: BBC. The CIA tortured terror suspects in its programme of “enhanced interrogation”, the agency’s former executive director, Buzzy Krongard, has admitted to the BBC’s Panorama programme. The agency’s position has always been that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques it used under George W Bush, did not amount to torture, because they were legally approved by the White House at the time. Malcolm Nance, former military instructor for the SERE programme, recreated the techniques the CIA adopted, for the BBC. Nance conducted the waterboarding procedure for the BBC, the first accurate recreation of the technique in public. His assistant endured 18 seconds of the procedure under strict medical supervision, his body violently convulsing as the water entered his nose. Waterboarding puts the subject into the initial stage of drowning.

     
  • Guantánamo detainee says his ‘comfort items’ were taken to force interrogations

    Source: The Guardian. A Guantánamo Bay detainee who recently published a bestselling memoir is alleging that US authorities at the detention facility have confiscated most of his legal mail and family correspondence to pressure him into submitting to further interrogations. In a declassified letter written to his attorney on 17 April, Mohamedou Ould Slahi cryptically referred to Guantánamo officials offering to help him retrieve his “so-called comfort items” if he would allow the resumption of interrogations that a judge ordered to end approximately six years ago.

     
  • Critics of solitary confinement are buoyed as Obama embraces their cause

    Source: The New York Times. An estimated 75,000 state and federal prisoners are held in solitary confinement in the United States, and for the first time in generations, leaders are rethinking the practice. President Obama last week ordered a Justice Department review of solitary confinement while Congress and more than a dozen states consider limits on it. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in a Supreme Court ruling last month, all but invited a constitutional challenge. “No president has ever suggested that there’s anything problematic about solitary confinement, that we should be studying it or that it’s overused,” said Margaret Winter, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project. “I feel like that has got to be some sort of a tipping point.”

     
  • How many Maryland prisoners are in isolated confinement? It’s hard to say.

    Source: The Washington Post. Advocates say at least 44 states and the federal prison system use some form of solitary confinement or segregation, a figure based on the number of states that have special “supermax” prisons, where the entire population can be held in isolation cells. Colorado, Maine and Texas have passed transparency bills to release numbers about segregation. But most states are not required to report such information. The most recent national estimate — which suggests about 80,000 prisoners in solitary confinement — comes from a 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics census report.

     
  • Inquiry: Psychologists group colluded with Pentagon, CIA on interrogations

    Source: The Washington Post. Leaders of the American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with officials at the Pentagon and CIA to weaken the association’s ethical guidelines and allow psychologists to take part in coercive interrogation programs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a report released Friday. The probe concluded that the association’s ethics director and others had “colluded with important [Department of Defense] officials to have APA issue loose, high-level ethical guidelines that did not constrain” the Pentagon in its interrogation of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The association’s “principal motive in doing so was to align APA and curry favor with DOD.” The investigation also found that “current and former APA officials had very substantial interactions with the CIA in the 2001 to 2004 time period” when the agency was using waterboarding and other brutal measures to extract information from detainees.