Ishaq Usman Bello is shaking the conscience of the courts – and nearly 4,000 wrongly detained prisoners are grateful for itIn a crowded prison courtyard in Suleja, Nigeria, a judge flipped through a battered folder detailing the case against a young woman who stood quietly before him in a faded pink dress.She was charged with “issuing a dud cheque”, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. But she’d already spent three years in prison awaiting the outcome of her trial. Continue reading...
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Coronavirus has made it more urgent than ever that prison should be a last resort for...Coronavirus has made it more urgent than ever that prison should be a last resort for women with dependent children“I felt very scared of the officers,” says 10-year-old Jack, about visiting his mother, Amy, in jail for the first time. “And I didn’t think my mum would do this, so I was kind of sad.”Today the two play Twister at Sydney’s Dillwynia correctional centre, where Amy is nearing the end of an 18-month non-parole period for fraud. They collapse in a giggling embrace of long limbs and prison greens. Continue reading...
Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, Michael Avenatti and others are asking judges to let them serve out...Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, Michael Avenatti and others are asking judges to let them serve out their sentences in home confinement instead.
Jay-Z is suing Mississippi Department of Corrections officials after 5 inmates died in 2 weeks of violence
Lawyers on behalf of rappers Jay-Z and Yo Gotti have filed a lawsuit against Mississippi Department...Lawyers on behalf of rappers Jay-Z and Yo Gotti have filed a lawsuit against Mississippi Department of Corrections officials in the wake of five inmates' deaths in two weeks. The lawsuit accused the state prison system of inhumane living conditions and violating the inmates' constitutional rights. The lawsuit follows a January 9 letter to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall in which the rappers threatened to sue the state. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Following the death of five inmates in two weeks of violence in Mississippi's prison system, rap mogul Jay-Z has filed a federal lawsuit against officials at the Mississippi Department of Corrections. "This unthinkable spate of deaths is the culmination of years of severe understaffing and neglect at Mississippi's prisons," the lawsuit read, according to NBC News. "As Mississippi has incarcerated increasing numbers of people, it has dramatically reduced its funding of prisons. As a result, prison conditions fail to meet even the most basic human rights." Lawyers on behalf of the rappers accused the defendants of violating Mississippi inmates' constitutional rights by not properly staffing the prisons to deal with violence and allowing inmates to live in "inhumane conditions." The accusations are based on the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The lawsuit comes in the wake of an outbreak of prison violence, including fatal stabbings and attacks, NBC News reported. The Mississippi state prison system, which has one of the nation's highest incarceration rates, has been the subject of lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union and other criminal justice groups over the years saying its facilities have "inhumane conditions." The lawsuit comes after Jay-Z and rapper Yo Gotti sent a letter to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and DOC Pelicia Hall on January 9, the Mississippi Clarion Ledger reported. The letter pointed to Mississippi prison system's frequent violence, prison staffing shortage, and the "inhumane" living conditions, where inmates were "forced to live in squalor, with rats that crawl over them as they sleep on the floor, having been denied even a mattress for a cot." The DOC declined to comment on the pending litigation to the Clarion Ledger, and previously said in a statement: "Because of the active investigations, the agency is limited in providing additional information. Reporting allegations is irresponsible and could further jeopardize the safety of officers, inmates, and the public." On Tuesday morning, the pair followed through on that promise when Jay-Z's lawyer Alex Spiro filed the lawsuit at the US District Court in Greenville, Mississippi, listing Hall and Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshall Turner as defendants. Hall is expected to step down from her role next week. Jay-Z and Gotti have been involved in several civil rights cases in the past. Team Roc, the philanthropic arm of Jay-Z's organization Roc Nation, has worked on dozens of civil rights cases related to racism, inequality, and social justice at the rapper's request. Spiro and Jay-Z helped rapper 21 Savage fight deportation after he was arrested by ICE, and provided legal counsel to an 11-year-old named Jabari Talbot who was arrested after refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance at his Florida middle school, The Guardian reported. The lawsuit alleges inmates in the Mississipi prison system are "in peril." "Plaintiffs' lives are in peril. In the past two weeks alone, five men incarcerated in Mississippi have died as the result of prison violence. These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi's utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights, " lawyers wrote in the lawsuit, according to the Clarion Ledger. Spiro told NBC News that Jay-Z and Gotti are "prepared to pursue all potential avenues to obtain relief for the people living in Mississippi's prisons and their families."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Each year, the US gets around 4 times as many twisters as the rest of the world combined — here's why