The Exile Nation Project - Robert Halstead

Robert Halstead (son of Janet Maddox Goree featured last week) is serving a 30 year sentence for armed robbery at a private prison in Graceville, FL, owned by the Correctional Corporation of America. Laws prohibit media access to Federal facilities, as well as in the California Department of Corrections and many other states, so this interview for The Exile Nation Project is the first conducted inside a prison facility.
Charles Shaw
9 April 2012

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."


Robert Halstead, son of Janet Maddox Goree featured last week on openDemocracy, is currently serving a 30 year sentence for armed robbery. In 2008 he robbed a pharmacy of one bottle of oxycontin while withdrawing from methadone, intent on committing suicide.

He was caught instead, and found himself not only facing 30 years for the robbery, but an additional 25 years for "trafficking" because the bottle of oxycontin contained more than the legal requirement.

Threatened with a life sentence if he took his case to trial, "Bobby" accepted a plea deal for 30 years without the possibility of parole. He will be released when he is 62 years old.

In September of 2011 Bobby was transfered out of the Florida Department of Corrections to a private prison facility in Graceville, FL owned by the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA)

This interview for the Exile Nation Project is the first conducted inside a prison facility.

Laws prohibit media access to Federal facilities, as well as in the California Department of Corrections and many other states.


This complete interview is #25 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on ExileNation.org.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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