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Articles on Prisons

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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 .
Dade Correctional Institution where mentally ill prisoner Darren Rainey was locked in a shower stall and died in June 2012. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

People are dying in US prisons, and not just from COVID-19

Violence in the criminal-justice system isn't limited to police. It's time to pay more attention to violent deaths within state prisons.
Oliger Merko, ‘Season of Love’ detail, oil on canvas, 2014. Prison Creative Arts Project

What we can learn about isolation from prison artists

In a system that treats people as objects to be counted, chained, searched and assigned a number, art is a way for prisoners to reassert their agency – and reclaim their lives.
Inmates work in the laundry room at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility in Santee, California, on April 22, 2020. Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

What the coronavirus crisis reveals about vulnerable populations behind bars and on the streets

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, missteps in transitioning the incarcerated back to their communities places this already vulnerable populace at greater risk of getting and transmitting the virus.
Prisons around the worlds have started to reduce their population in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Coronavirus in prisons: How and why to release inmates in a pandemic

Prison lawyers in Canada are scrambling to fill the gap left by federal inaction on inmate populations who are vulnerable to COVID-19. A recent case in Ontario could provide a legal precedent.

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