American Prisons

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Americans have been shocked by revelations of the abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of US troops. Politicians from the President on down have called the abuse -un-American- and -inconsistent with American values.- There have been hearings, reports, apologies and inquiries, but what about abuses closer to home? How widespread is mistreatment of those behind bars in America's overcrowded prisons?? Are privately run prisons part of the problem? How do America-s criminal justice policies affect prisons and prisoners, and how do those policies differ from European practices? Why aren-t Americans as outraged about what goes on in US prisons as they are about abuse in Iraq? Guest host Sara Terry speaks with journalists, officials of private and state prison, advocates of alternative sentencing, and a professor of comparative and foreign law.
  • Making News: Senate Hearings on Prisoner-Abuse Scandal
    General Antonio Taguba, the Army general who wrote the report about abuses of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers, told a Senate committee today that a -failure of leadership- was to blame in the scandal. He also blamed a -lack of discipline- and -no training whatsoever- for US troops in charge of the Iraqi detainees. John Barry, national security correspondent for Newsweek magazine, has been covering today-s hearings.
  • Reporter's Notebook: The Power of the Still Image
    The disturbing images of the abuse of Iraqi detainees by US troops just keep on coming. Perhaps more than anything else, the powerful photographs have ignited a national soul-searching about America-s role in Iraq. Photography critic and author Vicki Goldberg, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, explains why, even in this video age, photographs carry the power that can change people's lives.
Guest host SARA TERRY is an award-winning writer and photographer, who has written for the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Fast Company, Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe. Her current photo-documentary project is "Aftermath: Bosnia's Long Road to Peace." Some of the indelible images discussed in our Reporter's Notebook segment today:
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
Abraham Lincoln by Matthew Brady
Vietnam photos by Eddie Adams
Vietnam Napalm by Nick Ut

Geneva Convention (regarding treatment of prisoners)

Senate Armed Services Committee, today's hearings

Senate Intelligence Committee

Barry's article on rough justice in Iraq

Elsner's article on frequency of abuse in US prisons

San Francisco Chronicle article on prisoner abuse at Pelican Bay

California's Three Strikes Law

California's Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (Prop 36)



Warren Olney