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Monday, July 14, 2014

You rarely see this in the news

As shown in the book, stories of prisons are rare in the news ... aside from those stories about riots and escapes and the like.

In today's New York Times, there is an article titled "Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail." Read it here.

The story of Rikers, pictured below, is stunning, brutally honest, and strongly suggestive of a cultrue of violence by the state and city against people with mental illnesses.

Incredibly, as shown below, the number of violent incidents is rising, even as the jail's population has declined. April 2005--67 uses of force vs January 2014--389 uses of force

In spite of these stories and these data, the authors note:

"Reports of such abuses have seldom reached the outside world, even as alarm has grown this year over conditions at the sprawling jail complex. A dearth of whistle-blowers, coupled with the reluctance of the city’s Department of Correction to acknowledge the problem and the fact that guards are rarely punished, has kept the full extent of the violence hidden from public view."

Read it. It's stunning.

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