The American prison system’s darkest period in history

Recent lawsuits and Justice Department investigations have uncovered grotesque abuses of mentally ill inmates at state and local prisons.

It has been an extraordinary three weeks , and maybe the darkest period in the history of the American penal system. In four states the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the world by lawyers, government investigators and one federal judge. The conclusions are inescapable: In our zeal to dehumanize criminals we have allowed our prisons to become medieval places of unspeakable cruelty so far beyond constitutional norms that they are barely recognizable.

 

 

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Texas Textbook MASSACRE: ‘Ultraconservatives’ Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum

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The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum’s world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than “democratic,” and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

“We have been about conservatism versus liberalism,” said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. “We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate.”

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Utah Women May Face Murder Charges After Miscarriages

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A proposed Utah law that would open women who suffer a miscarriage to possible criminal prosecution and life imprisonment has enraged feminists and civil rights activists across the United States.

Adopted overwhelmingly by both sides of the state legislature in Salt Lake City earlier this month, the draft bill is now awaiting the signature of the state’s Republican Governor, Gary Herbert. It is not clear if the growing national controversy surrounding the proposed law will slow or even stay his pen.

While the main thrust of the law is to enable prosecutors in the majority-Mormon state to pursue women who seek illegal, unsupervised forms of abortion, it includes a provision that could trigger murder charges against women found guilty of an “intentional, knowing or reckless act” that leads to a miscarriage. Some say this could include drinking one glass of wine too many, walking on an icy pavement or skiing.

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Bailout Provides Broader Mental Health Coverage

Bailout Provides Broader Mental Health Coverage

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy speaking at a rally in March on Capitol Hill. Mr. Kennedy
and Representative Jim Ramstad, third from left, led the fight in the House for mental health parity.

More than one-third of all Americans will soon receive better insurance coverage for mental health treatments because of a new law that, for the first time, requires equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses.

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Nuclear Detection By Cellphone

Nuclear Detection By Cellphone 

Researchers at Purdue University are working on tech that will turn every cellphone into a roaming nuclear weapon sniffer and are lobbying Congress to legally require cellphone users and carriers to participate. The Distributed Nuclear Detection by Ubiquitous Cellphone project would be kind of like the massive cellphone dragnet in The Dark Knight, but it would look for terrorists sneaking dirty bombs and nuclear weapons instead of the Joker.

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Tiny Police Helicopter Is The Latest In Personal Invasion Inventions

Mini Copter

Our favorite frightening new discovery is a toy-sized helicopter that’s the latest rage in police technology.

The “microdrone” may be small, but for police it’s a powerful new weapon. It’s equipped with an array of technological weaponry, including video and infrared cameras. Images from the camera can be beamed to operators as far as 500 yards away. It even flies almost completely silently.

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