Private Prison Stocks Are Shooting Up After Trump Win

From Mother Jones magazine 11/09/16:

Private prison stocks are shooting up following last night’s election of Donald Trump. CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America) jumped 37 percent as of 11:30 ET; GEO Group went up 17 percent. The leap stands in contrast with the trend over the past few months. After a blockbuster Mother Jones investigation of a private prison in Louisiana, the Department of Justice announced it would end its use of private prisons. CoreCivic and GEO Group lost roughly half of their stock value and continued to plummet after the Department of Homeland Security, which uses the prisons for immigrations detention, announced it would also review its private prison contracts. The department, however, ultimately decided to continue working with the prison operators. While Hillary Clinton sharply critiqued the use of private prisons, Trump, who has run a campaign promising to deport the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, has publicly praised them. “I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in June. “It seems to work a lot better.”



INFOGRAPHIC: mass incarceration, the whole pie



We are the world champions of choosing to imprison our own (and other) citizens as the default method for addressing many crimes that are in the end social or public health issues. Well done locking up the mentally ill and weak drug addicts. Offering absolutely no assistance to these individuals that might help them approach and deal with their issues. And treating them as less than human (and in fact, forcing them to relinquish a large number of their civil rights) in a situation in which every indication or action involved with being human is highly regulated or prohibited altogether. Good job Un-merica: USA USA USA



A Death Row inmate petitions the court asking to be executed. As he goes on to tell his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems. THE FEAR OF 13 is a stylistically daring experiment in storytelling that is part confessional and part performance, Nick, the sole protagonist, tells a tale with all the twists and turns of classic crime drama. A final shocking twist casts everything in a new light.

Directed by David Sington





In 2012, California amended its “Three Strikes” law—one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Prop. 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” was underway. The Return examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California’s experiment teach the nation?

The directors, Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway, have spent much of their careers making films about the criminal justice system in the United States. In The Return, winner of the Audience Award for Documentary at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, they follow newly released prisoners Bilal Chatman and Kenneth Anderson and the people who supported them on their paths to reentry, including attorneys Mike Romano and Susan Champion of the Stanford Justice Advocacy Project.

“Three Strikes was sold to the public as a way of locking up the ‘worst of the worst,’ but its ultimate effect was to incarcerate more than 10,000 people—for life—for crimes as petty as trying to steal a car radio, possessing $10 worth of meth or purse-snatching,” say Duane de la Vega and Galloway.

“Many of those we interviewed came from families struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. Because African-Americans and Latinos receive disproportionately longer sentences than whites, most were people of color, people who needed support, not incarceration. People who were locked up due to bad policy based on fear, without any understanding of structural barriers they faced.

“After decades of inhumane criminal justice policies, we stand now on the precipice of change. Bipartisan lawmakers are calling for sentencing reform and uniting around legislation that prohibits employers from demanding that applicants disclose criminal records. Businesses are beginning voluntarily to ‘ban the box.’ We sincerely hope the film will inspire further efforts to correct the terrible injustice of misguided sentencing law.”

The Return is a co-production of Loteria Films, American Documentary | POV and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with Chicken and Egg Pictures.

Yet more American racialized justice. Justice for Whites by Whites: SCOTUS throws out death sentence for black Georgia convict who faced all-white jury.

Anyone who beLIEves justice is blind is blind themselves.  Watch and read:

VIDEO:  Supreme Court throws out death sentence for black Georgia convict who faced all-white jury.

The Supreme Court dismissed the death sentence Monday for a black convict from Georgia — because prosecutors fought to have him face an all-white jury.  The justices said Timothy Tyrone Foster, who has been on death row for nearly three decades, had no chance of a fair trial when he was convicted of killing an elderly white woman.  State prosecutors showed “a concerted effort to keep black prospective jurors off the jury,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.  The justices voted 7-1 in favor of Foster. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying he respected the decisions of state officials at the time and did not believe Foster’s claims of discrimination.  Continue reading here.


Justice in this country is an absolute failure.  Like White on rice.

HUFFPO: Moving Student Photos Document School-To-Prison Pipeline

Moving Student Photos Document School-To-Prison Pipeline

Posted: 11/03/2014 5:03 pm EST Updated: 11/05/2014 10:59 am EST

In Washington, D.C.’s public schools, African-American students are almost six times as likely to be suspended or expelled as their white classmates. Students with disabilities are also disciplined at higher rates than their peers.

But a group of local students is hoping to use their artwork to change that.

Students participating in a program with the nonprofit group Critical Exposure contend that disciplinary practices in the District’s public schools contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes minority and vulnerable students out of school and into the penal system.

For the past two years, Critical Exposure has brought students together to document the problems in their school district through more than just data and numbers. The students use photography and multimedia projects to depict the difficulty their peers face in finishing school as a result of tough disciplinary policies. Some of the student photographers have been suspended at some point during their educations, and many have seen friends and peers suspended for minor infractions.

“They see what happens when students get 10 days out of school with suspensions, how students get in trouble with the criminal justice system and juvenile justice system and how it snowballs from there,” said Adam Levner, the executive director and co-founder of Critical Exposure, in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

Scroll down to see the students’ photos.

Levner said that members of his organization’s 2012-2013 after-school fellowship class identified the school-to-prison pipeline as a problem they wanted to document. The 2013-2014 fellows then chose to continue the project, while other program leaders brought the idea to individual schools as well. (The current class of fellows has not yet decided what it will be documenting.)

Since then, Critical Exposure students have testified at public hearings about the issue and had a series of meetings with D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. They also successfully worked this year to establish a pilot restorative justice program, which emphasizes discussion and conflict resolution over suspensions and expulsions, at a local high school.

Malik Thompson, 19, was involved with Critical Exposure throughout his high school career. He has experienced firsthand the impact of “school pushout.” Following his older brother’s death several years ago, when Thompson was in the ninth grade, he says he stopped going to his citywide, application-only high school. After several months of truancy, and what he describes as “minimal efforts” from school administrators to draw him back in, Thompson says he received a letter from the school informing him that he was no longer enrolled.

“Basically, I was kicked out,” Thompson told HuffPost.

The next year, Thompson became involved in Critical Exposure after seeing a flyer at his new school. He is now an intern at the Gandhi Institute in Rochester, New York, a nonprofit that helps promote racial justice and nonviolence education. There, he facilitates workshops for young people in schools while leading photography and videography efforts.

Thompson, who ended up finishing his high school career in a home-school program, also advocates for the expansion of restorative justice programs in schools.

Restorative justice, he said, “creates [a culture] where the entire student –- like what happened outside the school and during school — is acknowledged and taken into account.”

Thompson continued, “I think more programs like Critical Exposure should exist where young people have avenues to begin to experience their own power, to work collaboratively together with adult supporters in order to make change in their world.”

“Critical Exposure was essential to me becoming the person I am today,” he added.

Below are photos from Critical Exposure’s students, representing how they see the school-to-prison pipeline in their everyday lives, provided to HuffPost by Critical Exposure. All photo captions were written by individual photographers, but have been edited and condensed for clarity.

  • The Lockers
    “Coming in the building feels like turning in my stuff before entering a jail cell.” — Angel L.
  • Untitled
    “The teachers can go through the gate without being stopped, and students are stopped and asked to show a pass. Students are treated like they’re prisoners. They already have to be escorted by a teacher to get through.” — Karl L.
  • Ban The Scans
    “This photo represents what we have to go through before entering our school everyday. I think it’s uncalled for, and nine times out of 10, if any violence … would occur it would be outside the school. According to DCLY [D.C. Lawyers For Youth] high quality mentoring for every D.C. child between 10-17 years old would cost $63 million, versus … paying $305 million just to incarcerate them.” – Sean “Lucky” W.
  • The Blind Pipeline That Youth Cannot See
    “This photo represents how some African American youth are on a path to prison that they can’t see or don’t know when it’s coming. The reason I say that is because most of us are expected to go to prison sometime in life. Statistics say one out of three African American males will go to prison in their life. In elementary school us African American youth are predicted to go to prison or jail based on standardized test scores and suspension rates.” – Sean “Lucky” W.
  • The Jail That Surrounds Us
    “This is a picture of the black long gate that surrounds my school, with only three ways to enter and I know that this is a tactic that jails use to keep ‘criminals’ in or out.” — Mike
  • Rights
    “The American flag symbolizes the rights we are granted as citizens and the freedom we have to manifest ideas and expand our knowledge. The bars represent restriction and confinement. Two conflicting ideas. We should not feel like our school system is detaining us and preventing us from flourishing.” – Anaise
  • Troubled Past
    “My name is Jacqueline S., I [have] lived in Washington D.C. most of my life. Im 20 in the twelfth-grade and excited to graduate in 2013. It took until my last year to figure out how school and education was important. This year has really opened my eyes. Because back then even when I was little I didn’t understand why my mom woke me up early in the morning just to go to school because I never felt like it … In middle school I was suspended a number of times and got expelled from school. But when I was suspended I knew that I was free by staying home watching TV … I changed because I didn’t want to fail.”
  • The Everyday Routine
    “Everyday students have to enter through the auditorium doors and place their backpacks on the X-Ray machine. Then they walk through the metal detector to meet their bag on the other side and then must wait for the bags to be searched by a security guard. This makes students feel as if we’re going inside a jail to meet someone, or as if the staff sees us as criminals. Statistics show that 70 percent of students [who are] involved in ‘in-school’ arrests or are referred to law enforcement are black or Latino. If DCPS [D.C. Public Schools] wants to lower these numbers then why do we have the same procedures of entering a jail [instead of] a comforting environment of being welcomed to school?” – Mike
  • Untitled
    “This photo is of a young man who is sitting at a desk. The desk is in the school hallway and he is the only one outside. ‘My teacher put me out here.’ In most cases, the student is not at fault. Sometimes teachers do not know how to deal and give appropriate punishments. Restorative Justice should be implemented in our schools because, not only does it help students learn how to deal with their behavioral problems, it trains our teachers to deal with students in a correct manner that doesn’t allow their personal judgement to affect the student.” – Samera
  • The Box
    “Every morning for the past three months after walking through the metal detectors, 17-year-old Skinny has to explain to the security guards before being wanded why the machine went off. Skinny has an ankle monitor on, or ‘the box.’ With a curfew of 8 p.m. every night, he feels trapped and isolated from the world. Skinny is on probation and was told he would get the monitor off a month ago. When that did not occur he became disappointed. At times he refused to go to school due to his frustrations. D.C. public schools allow up to three unexcused absences until truancy reports are sent out. I am very concerned about his education and the consequences from the days he has missed.” – Samera

Next level Golden Rule

how you treat your dissidents


VIDEO: Cop Claims He Can’t ‘Recall’ Pumping 15 Rounds Into Car, Killing Two Unarmed Black Men

Cleveland officer Michael Brelo is facing charges after two unarmed suspects were killed in this  Chevy Malibu

In this forensics picture, bullet trajectories from the deadly shooting are marked off on the Chevy Malibu 

I don’t even know what to say about all this racist and just plain sadistic and irresponsible police conducty going on ALL freakin OVER.  Except to keep spreading the word and hope that people reach a critical mass and finally say f*ck this shit.  Having a gun and a badge DOESN’T give you license to do whatever the f*ck you want to whoever you want.  NO, it does not give you the right to scream throguh a 35 at 60 when clearly nothing is going, except perhaps a mad rush to starbucks for lattes and cakepops) as you don’t even have your sirens on.  And you pull me over for doing 55 in a 54 lol.  BTW, this guy is only suspended.  Seriously??  After murdering two people.  Who cares if it may have been in self defense, hot pursuit, or any other manner of crazy criminal shenanigans – 15 f*cking rounds (oh, and that’s only his, 15 out of a total of 137 from other officers, none of whom are charged with shit).  Murder period point blank.

video here (sorry, not sure why it won’t embed, working on it)

Video: NJ Cops Do Nothing as Police Dog Mauls Man to Death, then Try Confiscating Footage

Are you abso-freaking-lutely serious??? Really cops?? I’m sorry but f*ck the police. I’m so tired of seeing “protecting and serving” the public (who pays you btw you excessive-use-of-force-a-holes) taking the form of “protecting and serving” the fraternity of boys in blue who have free reign and license to exploit and exterminate; as long as you’re brown, black, beige, yeloow, purple, or anything in between but white.

Oh, which leads me to this other fab post:  Five state to Avoid if You’re Not a White Male. Honk if you’re racist!~…/the-5-states-you-should-avo…/

DOCUMENTARY: Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog) – State sanctioned killing

I myself certainly think we are excessive in too many ways in our obsession with punitive solutions to what I feel are social problems (i.e. drugs, mental illness).  But I confess I do sometimes struggle with those that are less “social” and more clearly in the criminal realm (i.e. more “anti/a-social,” psycho/socio-pathic).  As in, that realm in which people are hurt and violence and violation are king.  Is life without parole enough for those who commit these types of brutal crimes?  Or, do we as a society, or as individual victims of crime–spiritually or otherwise–need to physically and definitively purge these people?  Is there something about the death penalty that offers more closure than life without parole.  Certainly the finality of either option is undeniable.  It goes without saying though that one is much more final than the other.

This film is pretty chilling from all perspectives and certainly brings this question of finality to the fore.  Is society made safer if we choose one option over the other?  Is safety the primary objective of the criminal legal system?  Or ought it also deal with other things like retribution, catharsis, vengeance, etc.  Can the state really, truly bring back what a victim has lost as a result of a crime?  If it can, even only in parts/degrees, is the death penalty able to recover more in this regard than life without parole?  In other words, is there some “value added” to the criminal legal process that makes capital punishment a superior option in certain cases? I really don’t know one way or another.  I think it would be hard not to be out for blood if someone hurt one of my loved ones.  Yet I also can’t help but wonder about those individuals who have been wrongfully executed (and their families, for whom the pain may be greater since it is sustained).  Herzog’s film hasn’t really helped me decide.  Still, despite making the waters even murkier, it’s worth watching.

Description from IMDB

Into the abyss explores a triple murder which occurred in the small Texas City of Conroe in 2001. Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, murdered a middle-aged housewife; they then gunned down her stepson and his friend. The film features Conversations with the two inmates and those affected by their crime. Unlike many of the films that deal with crimes, into the abyss isn’t concerned with figuring out exactly what happened, but rather serves as an examination of why people – and the state – kill.

Documentary that examines why people- and the state - kill.

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