17 States and DC Have Stopped Reporting Active COVID Cases Behind Bars

On July 5, Rita Deanda tested positive for COVID while incarcerated at the California Institution for Women. She was immediately ordered to pack her belongings and moved to a quarantine unit, which she referred to as “COVID jail.” That was where she spent the next 11 days. The 57-year-old doesn’t know how she got COVID; she was taking precautions, such as wearing her mask and doing her best to socially distance from others. On the day she was tested, Deanda recalled that she felt great. But the week before, she told Truthout, “I had a migraine from hell and thought…

“Mental Health Units” in Prison Are Solitary by Another Name, Activists Say

Christian Hill has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and major depressive disorder. In the New York State prison system, this classifies him as having a serious mental illness and confers a “1-S” designation upon him. Under the newly implemented HALT Solitary Confinement Act, people with this mental health designation cannot be punished by being placed in the Special Housing Unit, or SHU, where they would spend at least 17 days alone in their cells. Instead, Hill and others with this designation must be sent to a Residential Mental Health Unit, a prison unit for incarcerated people with serious mental…

Some Guantánamo Prisoners Fear Transfer to US Prisons Due to Brutal Conditions

Since the prison at Guantánamo Bay opened in its “war on terror” iteration in 2002, there has been a tendency among liberal critics to hold it in stark relief to the “normal” civilian legal system. The cruelty and illegitimacy of Guantánamo Bay was contrasted against the inherent perceived legitimacy of U.S. courts and prisons. For as long as the detention center and the various tribunals have been around, it’s been common to hear arguments against them from human rights NGOs based on the efficacy and security of the civilian apparatus — the success rate of terrorism prosecutions, or the fact…

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