Prison

1:57pm

Tue December 11, 2012
U.S.

In Freedom, Ex-Felon Becomes Probation Counselor

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Clark Porter was 17 when he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbing a downtown post office at gunpoint. He spent 15 years in prison and today helps some of the toughest ex-offenders turn their lives around.
Courtesy of Washington Universtiy in St. Louis

Every weekday, Clark Porter, a tall man with a sturdy build, walks into the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis to work with tough ex-offenders. On the outside, he wears a suit and tie. But on the inside, he has more in common with the former felons than most.

Back in 1986, a skinny 17-year-old Porter went on trial there as an adult for robbing a post office at gunpoint. His sentence: 35 years.

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3:06pm

Mon October 22, 2012
Around the Nation

For Many Florida Ex-Cons, Voting Booth Is Off-Limits

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 5:44 pm

Richard Flores, 47, had his civil rights restored at a clemency board hearing on June 28. Convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 1994, he served one year of house arrest. He had been waiting since then to have his right to vote restored.
Michael Ciaglo News21

Across the nation, the number of people who have lost the right to vote because of a felony conviction has grown dramatically in the past three decades. Currently, almost 6 million people don't have that right — and about 1.5 million of them live in Florida.

While some states are making it easier for felons to get their voting rights back, Florida has taken the opposite approach — and the path for former convicts trying to get those rights back is often an arduous one.

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10:56am

Wed October 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Solitary Confinement For Minors Could Have Lasting Consequences

A new report warns thousands of young people held in solitary confinement each year inside adult jails and prisons could suffer lasting consequences including hallucinations and mental illness.

The study by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch reached out to 125 juveniles in 19 states. Many of them reported being isolated for weeks at a time, in small cells with little natural light, no access to education, and minimal opportunities to exercise.

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9:17am

Fri October 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Botulism Outbreak Tied To Contaminated Prison Hooch

A hoarded baked potato appears to have been the source of botulism in some prison-made hooch.
iStockphoto.com

Behind bars, nothing says party quite like "pruno."

Pruno is a kind of homebrew made from whatever prisoners can get their hands on. Some fruit, a little water and sugar are usually enough to make alcohol-producing yeast happy.

But it seems a baked potato saved for weeks before it was added to a pruno batch last year at a Utah prison caused the second-largest botulism outbreak in the U.S. since 2006.

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1:43pm

Tue October 2, 2012
The Two-Way

New Report Sheds Light On Life In Solitary Confinement

A typical special housing unit (SHU) cell for two prisoners, in use at Upstate Correctional Facility and SHU 20.0.s in New York.
NYACLU

A year-long study released today is providing insight into the effects of solitary confinement in New York state prisons.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New York talked to more than 100 people who spent time in "extreme isolation." In many cases, they received letters from those people.

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