prisoners

A Harrowing Tale of the Incarceration System in Shane Bauer’s ‘American Prison’

Lee Polevoi

American Prison aims to be several different things, including a first-person undercover account of what it feels like to guard a general population in a for-profit prison. It’s also  an in-depth history of American convict labor and the rise of private prisons since Colonial times—and how outsourced incarceration has grown over time into a huge business. Bauer’s risky enterprise into life as a corrections officer was partly informed by his experiences as a prisoner in Iran for more than two years. 

‘Prisoners,’ ‘The Lone Ranger’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Dennis Villeneuve moves the 153-minute film with precision, leading viewers through a thriller that bolsters its clever, surface-level twists with deep thematic roots that force viewers to identify with multiple characters. This should stimulate debate about everything from vigilantism to torture, and it allows the movie to live in one’s mind long after it has played out. “Prisoners” could have been even better if Villeneuve had addressed a few underplayed plot points, but focusing on minor flaws in an otherwise masterful film is neither fair nor productive. 

How to Reduce America’s Reliance on Incarceration

David Muhammad

There is momentum building in California and around the country for common sense criminal justice practices that reduce America’s overreliance on incarceration. Even those who have been the most ardent proponents of flawed Get Tough on Crime polices have come around. The United States Justice Department, hard right-wing politicians, and even some victim groups have all agreed that there are far too many people incarcerated in this country, at far too great a cost to society. 

California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike Enters Its Third Week

Sal Rodriguez

California prisoners in over a dozen prisons are entering their third week on hunger strike, which began on July 8th with 30,000 prisoners across the state participating. This is the third hunger strike since June 2011 that California prisoners in the Security Housing Units (SHU) have participated in, demanding the same five core demands, with an emphasis on ending California's practice of long-term segregation of inmates suspected of prison gang affiliation. 

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