June 12, 2020
I urge everyone to read Gay Gardner’s letter in today’s Washington Post. Click here for the link.
In her letter, Gay hopes that wide spread use of police cameras and civilian cameras will lead to greater accountability among law enforcement officers. She points out, however, that in state prisons and local jails the cameras are rolling all the time. Yet, over and over again prison authorities never allow inmates, their families, advocates, or the public to view them. Too often prisoners suffer terrible abuse but with little recourse to hold correctional officers accountable. It is time for correction officials to let the public view the video footage when there are allegations of abuse at the hands of corrections officers.
June 11, 2020
The Marshall Report notes that a federal appeals court overturned a trial judge’s order to release medically vulnerable people from FCI Elkton, a federal prison in Ohio. FCI Elkton, is located in Lisbon Ohio which is approximately 90 miles from Cleveland and 60 miles from Pittsburgh. The facility incarcerates a total of 2274 men. Covid-19 has hit Elkton very hard. According to the Bureau of Prisons website, 438 men have active cases as well as 7 staff people. According to FOX19NOW.com, a Cleveland TV station, 523 inmates (approximately 25% of the total) have tested positive for Covid-19. At least 9 people have died at Elkton from the virus. In April, soldiers from the Ohio National Guard spent several weeks on a medical mission at the prison. The soldiers helped treat and transport the seriously ill patients.
I am starting a blog post on the IAHR website to share my thoughts about the current protests over police violence and the endemic racism in our society. I plan to relate the current events to conditions of confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. The protests which have followed the killing of George Floyd have understandably focused on police violence directed against people of color, especially African-American men.Read more