America’s Killer Prisons

America’s Killer Prisons

I get a lot of letters from people who’ve been incarcerated, or are now behind bars. Legally I can’t respond directly, because I’m an ex-con myself: I was locked up after blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal and immoral torture program. Direct contact with current...
I Am Kalief Browder

I Am Kalief Browder

The day before I started high school, my father took me up to the park around the corner from our house to have “the talk.” It’s the talk black families had when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida. It’s the talk we had when Michael Brown was shot and killed...
Let’s End Torture in U.S. Prisons

Let’s End Torture in U.S. Prisons

Solitary confinement is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is kept in a small cell — usually 6 feet by 10 — alone, for 23 hours a day. For one hour a day, he or she may be taken into a small cage outside, with the opportunity to walk in circles before being taken...
An Assault on Justice

An Assault on Justice

Two federal prison guards in Florida recently agreed to plead guilty for beating a prisoner and then covering it up. One officer faces up to three years in a federal prison, while the other is looking at a year. The Justice Department issued a press release that cast...
Let’s Put Prison Sentences on Probation

Let’s Put Prison Sentences on Probation

You may have heard there’s a growing political movement against mass incarceration. Someone should clue in the judges. In the past 30 years, federal judges have turned to imprisonment — as opposed to probation — as the punishment of choice for even minor crimes,...