Alabama Prison Was House of Horrors for Female Inmates, Feds Say

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

PHOTO: The entrance to Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., is pictured, Sept. 23, 2013.
The entrance to Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., is pictured, Sept. 23, 2013.

AP Photo/Dave Martin

A Justice Department investigation accuses Alabama officials of violating women’s rights by fostering an environment of rampant sexual abuse at the state’s Tutwiler Prison, where inmates “universally fear for their safety” and officers allegedly forced women to engage in sex acts just to obtain basic sanitary supplies.

The nearly 900 women incarcerated at the maximum-security prison live “in a toxic environment with repeated and open sexual behavior,” the Justice Department said in announcing its findings today into the Wetumpka, Ala., facility.

As part of the alleged abuses, male officers openly watched women shower or use the toilet, staff helped organize a “strip show,” prisoners received a constant barrage of sexually offensive language, and prisoners who reported improper conduct were punished, according to the department.

What’s more, at least a third of the…

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

Our country’s federal prison population has grown by nearly 800% in the last 30 years.

Seriously. That’s not a typo. Fueled by the failed “War on Drugs” and extreme, one-size-fits-all sentencing, our federal prison population has ballooned out of control. And unless we do something about it, it’s going to keep growing and growing for decades to come.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took one big step forward toward a fairer and more humane criminal justice system last week by passing the Smarter Sentencing Act, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

Unfortunately, the Committee also voted to add three new mandatory minimum sentences for domestic violence, sexual assault and terrorism crimes. The American Civil Liberties Union supports the base bill but opposes all new mandatory minimums. The bill now moves to the…

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Can a Governor hold a state hostage? ~ My own personal story and views

Shannon Watts, Founder Of Moms Demand Action, Comments On Trial Against the Killer Of Jordan Davis.


By Jueseppi B.




The trial of Michael Dunn, who shot and killed Jordan Davis in November 2012 in a dispute over loud music at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station, began today. Dunn is expected to invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in his defense – the same law used to exonerate George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin last year. Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, is a national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.




As the trial begins, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, released the following statement:


“Moms want justice for Jordan, and for the nearly 10,000 children who are killed by guns every year. Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, has turned her grief into activism and we’re proud to stand with her. Together, we will stop Stand Your Ground laws and the “shoot first” mentality these laws promote. Jordan died after a dispute over loud music because Michael Dunn had easy access to a gun and felt within his rights to fire nine shots into a car full of unarmed teenagers. The impact of Stand Your Ground is real and devastating. I hope that justice is served in this trial and that lawmakers act quickly to rescind these dangerous laws.”








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Russell Wilson Proves Doubters Wrong, Becomes 2nd African-American Quarterback to Win Super Bowl

Originally posted on GOOD BLACK NEWS:

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Russell Wilson hoists the Lombardi Trophy in just his second season as an NFL quarterback. (ROBERT SABO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

He didn’t dominate, and he didn’t dazzle. He just won. Again.  And this time, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did it on the biggest stage possible, in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, leading his underdog Seattle Seahawks to a 43-8 demolition of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

In a game where he was supposed to be the “other” quarterback, the second-year pro did exactly what he had to do to win the Lombardi Trophy. Very quietly, he passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins to victory in Supe XXII.

“It’s something I think about, to be the second African-American to win the Super Bowl,” Wilson said. “That’s history…

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