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Prisons News

Hundreds of prisoners start fires, wound staff in Ukraine riot

Odessa - A major riot involving 500 prisoners broke out at a penitentiary in the Ukrainian city of Odessa on Monday with the inmates setting fire to buildings and wounding seven staff members, officials said.

Doing time in 'Hell': Life in Sierra Leone's rundown prisons

Freetown - A shaft of light penetrates the foul air through a fist-sized vent.It reveals naked, sweating bodies packed side-by-side like sardines, lying in darkness on a greasy concrete floor.

Breakthrough in French prison standoff

Paris - The biggest union representing protesting French prison guards said Friday it had reached an agreement in principle with the government to end nearly two weeks of action to highlight security risks and poor pay.

French prisons on knife-edge as strikes, pickets drag on

Fresnes - French prisons guards are debating whether to ratchet up a week-old campaign of pickets and protests that have caused havoc at jails around the country, causing tensions with inmates.

French prison guards vow to continue strike after govt talks

Paris - A strike by French prison guards entered its second week on Monday, with union officials vowing to continue the movement after holding talks with the government over demands for better security and pay after a series of attacks on staff by inmates.

France to put phones in prison cells in bold shift

Paris - France plans to install landline phones in prison cells across the country in an ambitious bid to improve rehabilitation rates -- and cut down on rampant cellphone trafficking behind bars.

Top prisoner rights activist quits Russia after raid

Moscow - The founder of a prominent NGO that campaigns for the rights of Russian prisoners and their relatives said Wednesday she had emigrated after a police raid on the organisation's offices this year.

Packed Thai prisons need urgent reform: study

Bangkok - Thai prisons are massively overcrowded with some inmates forced to sleep sideways, a rights group said Tuesday, urging reform in a country with the world's sixth largest jail population.

Obama bans solitary confinement for juveniles

Washington - President Barack Obama on Monday announced a ban on solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons, citing the "heartbreaking" case of a teenager who spent two years in solitary after stealing a backpack and later killed himself.

Norway takes over Dutch jail to ease crowded prisons

Den Haag - Dutch authorities on Wednesday handed over the keys of a jail in the Netherlands to Norwegian officials, as Oslo gets creative with trying to resolve its problem of prison overcrowding.

Online reviews shine light on life behind bars

Washington - The Rappahannock Regional Jail in Virginia needs a facelift. The "decor was quite dated and it was in desperate need of a refreshing paint job," said Shane S following his recent incarceration."The bed was very uncomfortable.

Rio to allow transgender inmates to choose male or female prison

Rio De Janeiro - Transgender inmates jailed in Rio de Janeiro's penitentiaries will be able to choose incarceration in prisons for men or women, a first for Brazil.The new rules were approved Friday by the state of Rio de Janeiro's department of prisons.

Hospital staff say they were tricked into selling execution drugs

Lake Charles - It is clear that a local hospital sold state prison officials drugs used to execute prisoners. What is not so clear is whether the hospital staff knew what jailers were going to use them for.

Judge's order on CIA secret prisons released in full

Fort George G Meade - The US government must turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers connected to the trial of the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, a military judge said in an order released in full Tuesday.

Turkey's gay groups sound alarm over separate prisons plan

Istanbul - Gay rights groups in Turkey expressed alarm Tuesday at a government-led project to build prisons only for criminals who declare themselves gay, saying it would lead to more discrimination in a largely homophobic country.

Sweden plans to close prisons

The head of Sweden's prison and probation services announced in November that four of the country's prisons are to close due to a decline in prisoner numbers. There's been a 6 percent drop in numbers of Swedish prisoners but crime rates have not fallen.

Landmark case establishes workers’ rights for prisoners in France

Paris - In a historic decision yesterday, a Labour Court in Paris decided a prisoner doing work while in prison has the same employment protection rights as workers in the workforce at large.

Op-Ed: Moral advantages of legalizing marijuana

America's war on drugs has put millions of people in jail, estimated at 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens - predominantly blacks and minorities. With over 25% of the world's prisoners in the United States, it is one of the nation's greatest failures.

Op-Ed: Prison Paradigm Shift Away from Big Government Needed

We face a massive prison crisis in the United States, and some thinking outside the box is necessary. Earlier in American history, incarceration was rare or non-existent. Shouldn't we figure out what they were doing right?

UK Rioters Allegedly Suffering Prison Abuse

As the UK prison population continues to grow after reaching a record high, there is some concern that those convicted of rioting are finding being victimised by other prisoners.

Op-Ed: UK Rioters — Cells Are Not The Answer

Those currently being convicted of rioting in the UK are receiving abnormally long prison sentences. Is there a better alternative?

Op-Ed: Looking into the eyes of evil

In a few days, exactly one week as I write this, our family will look once more into the eyes of evil and hope that our long journey for justice will be ended.

Yelp review site grades prisons

The website Yelp allows users to give their opinion on local businesses and one of the more popular businesses to get grades are prisons. In New York Riker's Island is the top of the list with 4.5 stars.

Prison population in England and Wales reaches an all-time high

Following the recent London riots which influenced similar behaviour across England, the prison population in England and Wales has reached an all-time high.

Hackers could free prisoners from cell

Hackers could exploit vulnerabilities in electronic systems that control prison doors to free prisoners from their jail cells, researchers say.

The danger of double-bunking in Canadian prisons

Across Canada, prisons are “double-bunking” and this could make the facilities much more dangerous, according to the ombudsman for federal prisoners.

Op-Ed: The unemployed and the unemployable

Hull - A brief, partial review of two recent BBC Television programmes, and some comment on the issues raised therein relating to petty offenders, poverty and social exclusion.

Tasmania offers 'convictourism' to promote its convict heritage

UNESCO recently added five prison sites to its World Heritage List, all located in the Australian island and state of Tasmania.

California bill would allow early release for 27,000 prisoners

In an effort to help the state cope with a massive budget deficit and to comply with a federal ruling, California lawmakers are currently debating a piece of legislation that would allow some 27,000 convicted criminals to get an early release from prison.

U.S. States Cutting Prison Sentences

During these tough economic times, everyone is cutting back including state prisons. Many U.S. states are studying alternative ways of punishing nonviolent criminals. Probation and parole are leading the way.
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The Presidio Modelo was built under President-turned-dictator Gerardo Machado between 1926–1928. T...
The Presidio Modelo was built under President-turned-dictator Gerardo Machado between 1926–1928. The five circulars were built to humanely house up to 2,500 prisoners. By 1961, they held 6 to 8 thous.It is now a museum.
Picture taken by Friman, December 1st 2005
Cartoon by Dan Rosandich depicts a judge getting ready to hit a defendent over the head with his mal...
Cartoon by Dan Rosandich depicts a judge getting ready to hit a defendent over the head with his mallot in order to knock some sense into him.
Thousands of prisoners in the UK have access to Sky subscription television at taxpayers  expense.
Thousands of prisoners in the UK have access to Sky subscription television at taxpayers' expense.
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