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    America is almost unique in the civilised world for forcing pregnant prisoners to undergo childbirth cuffed and shackled

In 2007, a 17-year-old girl called Cora Fletcher was charged with retail theft. Over a year later, after she missed a court date, she was sent to the Cook County jail, in Illinois. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
During a pre-natal check-up at the facility, her baby appeared to have no heartbeat, so she was sent to the county hospital. As the medical team tried to induce her, Fletcher claims that both her hands and both her feet were shackled to either side of the bed. Only when she finally went into labor, three days later, was one hand and one foot released. It’s hard to imagine a more crucifying way to force a woman to try to give birth.
Sadly for Fletcher, there was no payoff for the trauma and humiliation she was forced to endure, as her baby was born dead.

Read the rest here

    America is almost unique in the civilised world for forcing pregnant prisoners to undergo childbirth cuffed and shackled

    In 2007, a 17-year-old girl called Cora Fletcher was charged with retail theft. Over a year later, after she missed a court date, she was sent to the Cook County jail, in Illinois. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

    During a pre-natal check-up at the facility, her baby appeared to have no heartbeat, so she was sent to the county hospital. As the medical team tried to induce her, Fletcher claims that both her hands and both her feet were shackled to either side of the bed. Only when she finally went into labor, three days later, was one hand and one foot released. It’s hard to imagine a more crucifying way to force a woman to try to give birth.

    Sadly for Fletcher, there was no payoff for the trauma and humiliation she was forced to endure, as her baby was born dead.

    Read the rest here

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    | 14 notes
    Photograph: Ben Margot/AP

Why California’s prisoners are starving for solitary change

This latest hunger strike, the third in less than six months, is small  potatoes compared to the previous two, which were state-wide and  involved thousands of inmates. But the fact that Californian  prisoners have once again resorted to starving themselves to protest the  conditions of their confinement does suggest that something is rotten  in the Golden State’s penal system (…)
One of my correspondents, Anthony, who has an indeterminate SHU  sentence (meaning, there’s no end in sight), described to me in a letter  what it is he and his fellow inmates find  hard to tolerate.

"We’re entitled to receive 10 hours  of ‘outdoor exercise’ a week, but lucky if we get half that. At times,  we’re cooped up an entire week in our cells before the opportunity of  expanding our lungs with fresh air. ‘Outdoor exercise’ consists of being  placed in a dog kennel-like cage, no bigger than our cells. We’re  prohibited from all recreational and exercise equipment, compelling most  to pace idly back and forth.
"Blinding bright lights remain on 24  hours a day within our (windowless 8ft x 10ft) cells as we have been  denied control over them. Our lavatories are electronically installed,  allotting each cell two flushes every 15 minutes."

    Photograph: Ben Margot/AP

    Why California’s prisoners are starving for solitary change

    This latest hunger strike, the third in less than six months, is small potatoes compared to the previous two, which were state-wide and involved thousands of inmates. But the fact that Californian prisoners have once again resorted to starving themselves to protest the conditions of their confinement does suggest that something is rotten in the Golden State’s penal system (…)

    One of my correspondents, Anthony, who has an indeterminate SHU sentence (meaning, there’s no end in sight), described to me in a letter what it is he and his fellow inmates find hard to tolerate.

    "We’re entitled to receive 10 hours of ‘outdoor exercise’ a week, but lucky if we get half that. At times, we’re cooped up an entire week in our cells before the opportunity of expanding our lungs with fresh air. ‘Outdoor exercise’ consists of being placed in a dog kennel-like cage, no bigger than our cells. We’re prohibited from all recreational and exercise equipment, compelling most to pace idly back and forth.

    "Blinding bright lights remain on 24 hours a day within our (windowless 8ft x 10ft) cells as we have been denied control over them. Our lavatories are electronically installed, allotting each cell two flushes every 15 minutes."

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