~ How Powerful Are White Supremacist Prison Gangs? ~

Investigators are exploring a possible link between white supremacist prison gangs and the murders of law enforcement officers in Texas and Colorado. Host Michel Martin explores how these gangs operate in and outside of prison with NPR investigative correspondent Laura Sullivan.

Listen to the story: http://www.npr.org/2013/04/08/176570800/how-powerful-are-white-supremacists-prison-gangs

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~ As Economy Flails, Debtors’ Prisons Thrive ~

Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can’t afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees. 

If that sounds like a debtors’ prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that’s because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.

Read more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57577994/as-economy-flails-debtors-prisons-thrive/

~ Homeless Woman’s Death In Police Custody Stirs Anger In St. Louis ~

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Anna Brown was homeless and had so much pain in her legs that she couldn’t walk.

When Brown, 29, refused to leave the emergency room at St. Mary’s Health Center in Richmond Heights, Mo., a suburb near inner St. Louis, the police thought she was on drugs and arrested her for trespassing. She’d already been examined, and a doctor said she was healthy enough to go to jail.

The police carried her into a jail cell by her arms and ankles, her body slackened. There were a couple of beds in the cell, but they left her on the concrete floor. A couple of officers stood by the door as she writhed and moaned, and then they walked away. “They thought she was a drug seeker,” an officer said later.

She had stopped moving within 15 minutes and was pronounced dead a short time later.

The full article can be found here: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/29/nation/la-na-nn-st.-louis-homeless-woman-death20120327

~ Students Let Guard Down To Transform Vicious Circle ~

This is a glimpse into the life of Eric Butler, a restorative justice program coordinator in Oakland, California. Mr. Butler’s mission is to help defuse grenades of conflict at Ralph J. Bunche High School, the end of the line for students with a history of getting into trouble. He is the school’s coordinator for restorative justice, a program increasingly offered in schools seeking an alternative to “zero tolerance” policies like suspension and expulsion.

 To read more about this: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/education/restorative-justice-programs-take-root-in-schools.xml;jsessionid=5CAD7378241E6550D559844F7C0CB888?f=19

~ An Eight Year-Old is Handcuffed and Thrown in Jail For Having a Tantrum ~

By now, many people know that there exists in this country high school pipeline to prison pipelines, but  few people are aware  that the pipeline sometimes begins in elementary school, at least for minority students.

Read more here: http://www.yourblackworld.net/2013/03/black-news/8-year-old-girl-handcuffed-and-thrown-in-jail-for-throwing-tantrum/

~ Homeless Woman Sent to Prison for Sending Child to Better School Out of Her District ~

Tonya McDowell, the 34-year-old black woman who enrolled her son at a school in Norwalk, Connecticut, instead of Bridgeport, where she last lived permanently before becoming homeless, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

More of Tonya’s story can be found here: http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2013/03/homeless-woman-sent-to-prison-for-sending-child-to-better-school-out-of-her-district/