Posted in Common Dreams Courts News Race for the White House 2020 SCOTUS

Dems pressured to ‘pick a fight for once’ over RBG seat as Collins and Murkowski oppose pre-election vote

“To pretend that norms will constrain Trump or McConnell would be folly, yes. But for Democrats, the media, and the public to concede the ground in advance is to do their dirty work for them.” by…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams ICE Immigration News Prisons

Activists help ICE detainee avoid deportation following alleged sterilization procedure at Georgia facility

Pauline Binam, a Cameroonian who has lived in the U.S. since the age of two, was detained at an ICE facility where her fallopian tubes were removed, allegedly without her consent. by Lisa Newcomb, staff writer…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams Courts News Safety Net

McConnell quietly rams through more lifetime Trump judges while blocking Covid relief

“It’s outrageous that McConnell continues to prioritize the Trump court takeover amid the pandemic. Enough.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Wednesday, September 16 As Covid-19 relief for jobless and hungry Americans, collapsing small businesses, and state…

Click to read full article
Posted in Labor News Prisons Racism

Disaster work is often carried out by prisoners – who get paid as little as 14 cents an hour despite dangers

Prison systems have long championed the work of incarcerated persons in emergencies and disasters as a demonstration of the value of prisons to local communities and the state. Prisoners clearing vegetation to prevent the spread of…

Click to read full article
Attorney General William Barr listens to US President Donald Trump speaks with officials on September 1, 2020. (Screenshot from photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP)
Posted in Common Dreams Government Investigations Justice News

DOJ moves to take over Trump’s defense in suit filed by rape accuser

AG Barr Slammed for Acting as ‘Personal Henchman’ of Trump “By putting the DOJ to work defending him over conduct that has nothing to do with his official capacity, Trump has taken another giant step toward…

Click to read full article
Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, and chronic health problems have helped exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 in U.S. prisons and jails. (Screen capture from photo: Spencer Weiner/Getty Images)
Posted in Analysis Common Dreams Coronavirus Jails Prisons

108,000 US inmates infected with Covid-19

Among prisoners, the death rate from the potentially fatal virus is three times higher than average. Report: Only 7% of Inmates’ Loved Ones Say Prisoners Have Soap and Other Basic Necessities to Stop the Spread of…

Click to read full article
A firefighter (L) speaks to an inmate firefighter as they prepare to put out flames on the road leading to the Reagan Library during the Easy Fire in Simi Valley, California on October 30, 2019.
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus News Prisons Wild Fire

California bill to help prisoner firefighters find work after release awaits Governor’s signature

As the Golden State burns amid a firefighter shortage, AB 2147 would expedite criminal record expungements so ex-inmates can apply for EMT licenses. by Brett Wilkins, staff writer Monday, August 31   As dozens of major…

Click to read full article
An inmate firefighter pauses during a firing operation in California in 2018. This year, as the state is engulfed in wildfire smoke and flames, Covid-19 has complicated the state's fire supression response as well as its practice of using prison labor to fight the blazes. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP)
Posted in Common Dreams Justice News Prisons Wild Fire

Inmate families, advocates push for prisoner release as California wildfires engulf state

‘They Have Nowhere To Run’ “I’m furious at the incompetence and severe inhumanity of this,” one advocate said. by Lisa Newcomb, staff writer Friday, August 21 As wildfires rage in California, advocates are pushing for Gov….

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Justice Politics Racism The Conversation

After the civil rights era, white Americans failed to support systemic change to end racism. Will they now?

Will white people’s participation in Black Lives Matter protests yield real change?  (Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images” by  Candis Watts Smith, Pennsylvania State University The first wave of the Black Lives Matter movement, which crested…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams Courts Labor News Workers

Major ‘Milestone’ for workers as California judge rules Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees

“This is a resounding victory for thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers who are working hard—and, in this pandemic, incurring risk every day—to provide for their families.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Tuesday, August 11 In…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus Jails News Prisons

Saying ICE has ‘Lost the right to be trusted,’ Federal Judge orders mandatory testing at detention center hit by Covid-19

Court order follows an outbreak at the Mesa Verde Detention Center and evidence that officials opted not to test detainees for fear of positive test results. by Lisa Newcomb, staff writer Thursday, August 6 A federal…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams Justice News

Prohibited from holding police officer to account, federal judge calls on Supreme Court to overturn ‘Qualified Immunity’

“Those who violate the constitutional rights of our citizens must be held accountable. When that day comes we will be one step closer to that more perfect Union.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Friday, August 7…

Click to read full article
Posted in Analysis Coronavirus Ethics Jails The Conversation

As the coronavirus rages in prisons, ethical issues of crime and punishment become more compelling

A 1970 image of prisoners in cell blocks at Rikers Island Prison.  Bettmann / Contributor/Bettmann via Getty Images by  Austin Sarat, Amherst College Thursday, August 6 Across the United States, prisons and jails have become hot…

Click to read full article
Participants behind a banner reading "COVID BEHIND BARS = DEATH" attend a rally at Rikers Island in New York. Rights advocates have urged state, local, and federal officials to release vulnerable inmates during the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that prisons and jails are equipped with safety measures to prevent outbreaks. (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus Jails News Prisons SCOTUS

Supreme Court rules jail does not have to provide basic protections to inmates

As Prisons Across US Report Surge in Covid-19 Cases “There is no legal principle justifying this stay. The only ‘principle’ animating it is the belief of the Republican appointees to the Court that prisoners are subhuman.”…

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Justice News Pro Publica

“Defendant shall not attend protests”: In Portland, getting out of jail requires relinquishing Constitutional Rights

A dozen protesters facing federal charges are barred from going to “public gatherings” as a condition of release from jail — a tactic one expert described as “sort of hilariously unconstitutional.” by Dara Lind July 28,…

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Justice Racism Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Coerced work

by Wade Rathke Dallas   As Covid-19 sweeps through prisons creating hot spots all over the country because of the close and abysmal conditions, it’s a reminder of how many people are still incarcerated despite widespread claims…

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Courts News Policing

Federal judge curbs powers of Trump’s secret police in Portland

“This injunction is a critical protection for journalists and legal observers exercising their fundamental right to record and observe police activities at these important protests.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Friday, July 24 A federal judge…

Click to read full article
Posted in News Prisons The Conversation

People are dying in US prisons, and not just from COVID-19

According to investigations by the Miami Herald, corrections officers gassed Randall Jordan-Aparo as he begged for help, likely killed Latandra Ellington for speaking out about sexual abuse and scalded Darren Rainey to death in the shower….

Click to read full article
Protesters holding a banner reading, "U.S. Immigration Policy Is A Crime" at a silent protest in January 2020. (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket)
Posted in Common Dreams Coronavirus ICE Immigration Justice News

Cuban asylum seeker describes vicious pepper spray attack on hunger strikers at ICE detention facility

More than 2,000 migrants and refugees in U.S. detention facilities have contracted Covid-19 as advocates demand their release. by Julia Conley, staff writer Saturday, July 4 A Cuban asylum-seeker on Thursday described a “shocking” pepper spray…

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

Poll shows overwhelming US support for police reform, increased accountability.

86% say require police to behave or send them to jail. Among other major changes, large majorities of the American public want clear standards for police misconduct and prosecution of officers guilty of excessive force. by…

Click to read full article
Protestors are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House on June 1, 2020 as demonstrations against George Floyd's death continue. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

IG to investigate violent police clearing of Lafayette Square

“The White House narrative is contradicted by video evidence, eyewitness accounts, and even its own past statements. Frankly, it has no credibility at this point.” — Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) by Andrea Germanos, staff writer…

Click to read full article
Posted in Common Dreams Courts News

Senate GOP confirms ‘anti-healthcare’ McConnell protégé Justin Walker to lifetime judgeship instead of vote on Covid-19 Relief

“Another shameful step in the McConnell/Trump takeover of our judiciary.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Thursday, June 18 In spite of public pressure on Congress to prioritize providing more relief to Americans impacted by the ongoing…

Click to read full article
Posted in Coronavirus Jails News Pro Publica Public Health

The prison was built to hold 1,500 inmates. It had over 2,000 Coronavirus cases.

Prison overcrowding has been quietly tolerated for decades. But the pandemic is forcing a reckoning. by Dara Lind Thursday, June 18, 11 am. MST Jason Thompson lay awake in his dormitory bed in the Marion Correctional…

Click to read full article
Posted in Black Lives Matter Justice News Policing

‘Now is not the time for more studies’: Sanders rips weak GOP bill and demands end to police immunity

“Now is the time to hold racist and corrupt police officers and police departments accountable for their actions.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Thursday, June 18 Slamming the GOP’s newly unveiled policing reform bill as inadequate…

Click to read full article