Maryland exonerees deserve compensation. Instead, they face delay after delay.

Hubert James Williams spent nearly 12 years in prison for two attempted murders that the state of Maryland agrees he didn’t commit. Set free without a dollar to his name, he cycles among hospitals, Veterans Affairs-subsidized housing and homelessness. He owns one pair of pants, which he holds up with a rope. He can’t afford a belt.

In accordance with Maryland law, Williams requested compensation for his wrongful imprisonment from Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) in January 2018. He was followed by four other Maryland men who collectively served 120 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. The BPW has simply ignored their requests.

READ THE REST

“Free” Tablets Are Costing Prison Inmates a Fortune

Wayne Snitzky was 18 years old when he was sentenced to prison for murdering a girl four years his junior. It was 1995, beepers were the height of personal technology, and the most sophisticated video game he had played was “Leisure Suit Larry,” a 2D adult-themed computer game that followed the sexual exploits of the sleazy main character. During the 23 years he has been locked up in Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institute, Snitzky has been on the periphery of technology’s rapid evolution. READ THE REST

In My Prison, Summer is “Ticket Season”

“If you move the wrong way—ticket. You look the wrong way—ticket. Breathe—ticket.”

There isn’t much that we can do here in a Level 5 maximum-security prison—which is where they send us unmanageable inmates, to seclude us even further. So I write, read, watch TV and occasionally look out my window, watching the prisoners from the other part of the facility out on the yard: their gatherings, their ball games, the new faces.

All of this I do to pass the time before “the Rush.” You’d think the Rush would mean gang jumpings, stabbings, someone sneaking up you, etc.— which all happens, but that’s not what I’m talking about. No, this is about officers obsessively writing tickets. These are the little infractions that keep us in line, the same as the parking or speeding tickets that police stop civilians for. If you’re not liked—ticket. If you move the wrong way—ticket. You look the wrong way—ticket. Breathe—ticket. And instead of paying a fine or fee to the court system, we lose our appliances and our right to participate in all activities. READ THE REST

The Vast Conspiracy Behind Epstein’s Death

If the wolves in federal lock-up didn’t get to him, Epstein was likely to die from mere exposure to the elements of the American prison system. And so he did.

The horrors of this system were well catalogued by a New York Times investigation that exposed the inhumane conditions Epstein was likely subjected to during his final days housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan: isolation, filth, humiliation, with only the rodents and roaches to complain to. These conditions, it’s important to remember, are the same ones faced by all prisoners. Epstein was not singled out for special tortures because of the disgusting nature of his alleged crimes. If anything, the Times revealed, Epstein was better off than most prisoners, because he could pay lawyers to come “consult” with him for 12 hours a day.

We do this to people. We throw them into places like the MCC because they’ve committed or are suspected of committing heinous acts—or, just as often, because they committed lesser offenses while black or brown. Once captured, we allow the system to go on mistreating and neglecting those people of color who cannot afford the lawyers and the appeals necessary to fight mass incarceration. As long as the inhumanity is happening to nonwhite people, white “law and order” types seem okay with it.

Read the rest