Check out HRC members Karen Lee and Shandre Delaney's radio segment "The Effect of Mass Incarceration on Families" on the Wake Up African People radio show, this Friday(3/28) at 9:30 pm
What is the effect of mass incarceration on urban black families?
More than seven times as many people are incarcerated in the United States as in Europe. The main victims of the prison boom are minority, particularly African American, men, who, as sociologist Bruce Western has found, are eight times more likely to have served time in prison than white men. The effects of mass incarceration extend beyond the prisoner and his immediate experience of confinement, and can have a significant impact on the prisoner’s family. A slew of recent studies by Western and others suggests that the wave of mass incarceration contributes to the decline of families and the social fabric that binds them, leading to the further disintegration of already-disadvantaged inner-city neighborhoods.
The Human Rights Coalition condemns the practices of medical neglect, abuse, and cruel and unusual punishment that prison officials of SCI Graterford are practicing on Ricky Clark (#FW1824). We call on all people, government, and prison officials to take immediate action to end these malicious and abusive practices, return Mr. Clark to general population in SCI Graterford, and ensure that he has access to all necessary medical care.
Institutionalized Cruelty, a film by James Tedrow, discusses the abuse of solitary confinement in the Pennsylvania prison system, as documented by Human Rights Coalition investigations. The film includes video of the cell extraction of Carrington Keyes, a member of the Dallas 6, as well as discussing the death of John Carter during a cell extraction, and the decades long solitary confinement of Russell Maroon Shoatz and Arthur Cetewayo Johnson. Persons interviewed include Abolitionist Law Center board members Shandre Delaney, Bret Grote, and Dustin McDaniel.
January 27, 2014: Pittsburgh PA — On Monday, January 27, United States District Magistrate for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cynthia Reed Eddy, issued a decision denying defendants’ motion to dismiss in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel. The ruling allows Russell Maroon Shoatz to move forward with the legal challenge to his more than 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement.
Shoatz brought suit in May 2013 on the grounds that he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that prison officials have deprived him of his procedural and substantive due process rights for keeping him in solitary confinement without meaningful review and on insufficient grounds. ...read more
January 9, 2014: Philadelphia, PA — The Human Rights Coalition (HRC), politicized prisoner Robert Saleem Holbrook, and College of Charleston Professor Kristi Brian brought a lawsuit yesterday against several employees of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Coal Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) for confiscation of mail sent to Holbrook, a co-founder of HRC currently held at SCI Coal Township.
“Today HRC is going on the offensive to fight back against prison censorship,” editor of The Movement and HRC-Philadelphia activist Patricia Vickers stated. “It is long overdue that prison officials are held to account for their attempts to silence those who speak out against this abusive system. The rights, health, and lives of our loved ones are at stake.”
The suit, Holbrook et al. v. Jellen et al., filed by the Abolitionist Law Center, details a series of confiscations of Holbrook’s mail since January 2012 that includes academic correspondence with a college professor and issues of The Movement, essays written by Angela Y. Davis and James Baldwin, a newsletter published by HRC which focuses on prison abuse, solitary confinement, and ways that prisoners’ family members can come together to challenge human rights abuses and injustice in the criminal legal system. (read more)
Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson is an innocent man. But he has spent most of the past 18 years serving a sentence of life without parole. In January 2012, Johnson was released from state prison on bond while the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office appealed the overturning of his conviction by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. After spending 16 years in prison, Johnson was free for five months before the U.S.