The [Justice] Short List 2-20-14
Gov. Cuomo’s Bold Step on Prison Education
Those of us who have come to know the justice system also know that education programs in prison lead to less recidivism and higher employment rates among former inmates. Unfortunately, the idea of spending money to help someone who broke the law is too much for some to swallow. Despite the controversy, Gov. Cuomo of NY announced new funding for college classes in 10 state prisons.
Eight Sketches of Life Inside North Korea’s Prison Camps That Will Haunt You
Looking at these sketches of North Korean Prison Camps, we are reminded of everything cameras are still prevented from documenting. Even in a drawing, even with the question of authenticity, they are a testament to the power of image to bring abstract issues to light.
Yesterday, the NYCLU and NY Dept of Community Corrections signed an agreement that is set to transform the way solitary confinement is used in the state’s punitive practices. Children and pregnant women cannot be subject to solitary as punishment, for instance. But we wonder: will new justifications for non-punitive solitary emerge?
The Science of Solitary Confinement
Psychology, biology, physics and statistics all prove that solitary confinement does more harm than good. As its use within the justice system becomes more publicized, the facts need to be as well: “The hippocampus, in particular, has been found to dramatically shrink in the brains of people who are depressed or stressed for extended periods, a concern because it’s crucially involved in memory, geographic orientation, cognition and decision-making.”
Michigan Teen Goes to Bat For Juvenile Murderers
Matilyn Sarosi, 16, wrote an 18-page brief arguing that juveniles sentenced to life without parole deserve an opportunity for parole. We are blown away. On responsibility: “It is an attitude that we must learn through triumph and tragedy, as the brutal teacher of time softens our attitudes of invincibility. Thankfully, in most aspects of our society, such immaturity is recognized and taken into account when developing laws and policies.” Can you say “Schooled?”