This week's guest editors

Prisoner X and the British Guantanamo Bay

Working as a writer in residence at prisons, I have been advised not to "fight" if an inmate takes me hostage and starts to rape me. At first I loathed wife-murdering "Prisoner X". But if he can teach other prisoners to read and write, some good may come of the bad. 

American conservatives shift on mass incarceration

When Newt Gingrinch announced last year, “The criminal-justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it," it may have signaled that those who formerly advocated rapid prison expansion, have shifted gears and begun to distance themselves from private prison corporations and explore ways to reduce spending on corrections.

The Prison Policy Initiative

The Prison Policy Initiative was founded in 2001 by Peter Wagner. While they are most famous for their work documenting how mass incarceration skews American democracy, they're also demonstrating how mass incarceration impacts everyone, not just those directly involved in the criminal justice system, empowering new voices to help set criminal justice policy.

Fewer Americans behind bars?

For the third straight year, fewer Americans were under "correctional supervision"--a catch-all description that includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole--in 2011.  Do these slight changes in the numbers from year to year indicate major shifts in the American way of punishment?

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of August 8th 2011

This week we lead with news that that Liberal Democrats are expected to call for an independent inquiry into the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs. It would be the first government-sponsored inquiry into decriminalisation, but is unlikely to have the support of David Cameron who has hardened his approach to drugs after being a past advocate of more liberal legislation ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of July 18th 2011

This week we lead with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture's new Report on Poland - highlighting a serious lack of progress towards the 'care of inmates with drug related problems.' In other news we take a look at the trailer for new film, 'Breaking the Taboo'; explore the ongoing tragedy of the Mexico's war on drugs; and look at the new Rome Declaration ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of May 23rd 2011

We lead this weeks Report with news of a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court to reduce California's severe prison overcrowding, held to have directly contributed to unconstitutional conditions which are not only unsafe but overly costly ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of April 25th 2011

With around 80,000 claimants of Incapacity Benefit having a drug or alcohol dependency, we lead this weeks report with DrugScope's caution over the DWP's 'incapacity revolution'. In other news we look at injecting drug use in prisons; calls for drug policy reform in Poland; and Wikileaks reveals the extent of the DEAs global reach ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of April 4th 2011

Following UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov's speech last week in which he called for a rededication to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; we lead our report with a call to take a fresh and pragmatic look at the Convention through a human rights perspective rooted in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We also take a look at a moving campaign against violence in healthcare ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of March 14th 2011

We lead this week with exciting news of a special preview of "The Exile Nation Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & the American Criminal Justice System.” Written, produced and directed by our very own Charles Shaw, the film puts a human face on the millions of American's subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe ~ MW & CS

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of January 17th 2011

We lead this week's Report with an HCLU study on the risks related to blood borne and sexually transmitted infections and drug use in the Hungarian prison system, based on interviews with formerly incarcerated injecting drug users. Also in this week's edition, news from Ireland where Sinn Fein have initiated an evidence based approach to drug policy; and some short films from Denmark, the Czech Republic and Mexico ~ MW & CS

Exile Nation in London

Video (in three parts) of Charles Shaw's presentation as part of openDemocracy's "Who's Addicted to the War on Drugs?" which took place on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 in London.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of September 27th, 2010

We lead this week with the release of the much anticipated trailer from Charles Shaw and openDemocracy's The Exile Nation Project, a testimonial documentary about the far-ranging consequences of the American criminal justice system.

The Exile Nation Project: Trailer

The Exile Nation Project has just released a four-minute trailer of their documentary archive of testimonies from criminal offenders, family members, and notable experts on the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs and the American Criminal Justice System.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of September 20th, 2010

We lead this first report of the autumn session with exciting news from the first US government approved clinical trial of MDMA therapy for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Also, as the November general election (and Prop 19) quickly approaches, the weed war heats up in California.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of July 05, 2010

A weekly summary of news and developments in drug policy and criminal justice reform in the US & UK.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of June 28, 2010

A weekly summary of news and developments in drug policy and criminal justice reform in the US and UK.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of June 14, 2010

A weekly summary of what's going on in drug policy and criminal justice reform in the US & UK.

The Crime of Being Poor: Class and Criminal Justice in America

A U.S. prisoner named Paul Wright has penned an extraordinary essay on the role of class in the American criminal justice system.
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