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Articles on Prisons

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An inmate can be seen inside a segregation cell at the Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ont., in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

How prisons are using COVID-19 containment measures as a guise for torture

Solitary confinement is still a common feature of prisons across Canada and in its most populous province, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a practice that amounts to torture.
Palestinian artists draw a mural of hunger striker Hisham Abu Hawash. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

Inmates’ hunger strikes take powerful stands against injustice

The power of the hunger strike lies in its utter simplicity. Anyone can choose to forego eating, even when living under extremely restricted conditions.
Female prsioners wave goodbye to their fellow inmates following their release from Chikurubi prison on the outskirts of Harare in Zimbabwe in April 2021. Zimbabwe released about 3,000 prisoners due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

More than a million prisoners have been released during COVID-19, but it’s not enough

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world released many prisoners, but this has now slowed or stopped. Here’s why those releases should continue.
While prison may isolate people from the larger community, it does not isolate them from COVID-19. Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images News

Correctional officers are driving the pandemic in prisons

New research shows correctional officers are vectors of infection, driving COVID-19 rates both inside prisons and in their communities.
A Texas woman shows a picture of her 21-year-old son, who has been incarcerated during the pandemic. AP Photo/LM Otero

No visits and barely any calls – pandemic makes separation even scarier for people with a family member in prison

For the 6.5 million Americans who have an incarcerated family member, COVID-19 has made an already stressful situation much worse by drastically limiting communication and raising fears of death.
Isolating prisoners in cells with no contact and little activity over a sustained period of time amounts to torture. (Shutterstock)

Solitary confinement by any other name is still torture

While seemingly an alternative to solitary confinement, Structured Intervention Units have been a catastrophic failure, especially for imprisoned people with mental illness.
Trucks like this are used to convey inmates to the prison in Lagos State, Nigeria. Over 70 percent of inmates in Nigeria have not appeared in court and haven’t been sentenced. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

Waiting for trial can be worse than facing the sentence: a study in Nigerian prisons

The proportion of prisoners awaiting trial in Nigeria is disturbing, and prolonged imprisonment can have a damaging effect on their mental functioning .

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