Topic: Correction and Detention Facilities
Anti-gay purges in the Chechen Republic, a part of the Russian Federation, have included forced disappearances — secret abductions, imprisonment, torture — and extrajudicial killing by authorities targeting persons based on their perceived sexual orientation. An unknown number of people, who authorities detained on suspicion of being gay or bisexual, have reportedly died after being held in what human rights groups and eyewitnesses have called concentration camps.
Allegations were initially reported on 1 April 2017 in Novaya Gazeta, a Russian-language opposition newspaper, which reported that since February 2017 over 100 men had allegedly been detained and tortured and at least three had died in an extrajudicial killing. The paper, citing its sources in the Chechen special services, called the wave of detentions a "prophylactic sweep". The journalist who first reported on the subject went into hiding. There have been calls for reprisals against journalists who report on the situation.
As news spread of Chechen authorities' actions, which have been described as part of a systematic anti-LGBT purge, Russian and international activists scrambled to evacuate survivors of the camps and other vulnerable Chechens but were met with difficulty obtaining visas to conduct them safely beyond Russia.
The reports of the persecution were met with a variety of reactions worldwide. The Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov denied not only the occurrence of any persecution but also the existence of gay men in Chechnya, adding that such people would be killed by their own families. Officials in Moscow were skeptical, although in late May the Russian government reportedly agreed to send an investigative team to Chechnya. Numerous national leaders and other public figures in the West condemned Chechnya's actions, and protests were held in Russia and elsewhere. A report released in December 2018 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed claims that persecution of LGBT persons had taken place and was ignored by authorities.
On 11 January 2019, it was reported that another 'gay purge' had begun in the country in December 2018, with several gay men and women being detained. The Russian LGBT Network believes that around 40 persons were detained and two killed.
- "Gay concentration camps in Chechnya (April 2017)" | 2017-04-14 | 40 Upvotes 13 Comments
Nutraloaf (also known as Meal Loaf, prison loaf, disciplinary loaf, food loaf, lockup loaf, confinement loaf, seg loaf, grue or special management meal) is a food served in prisons in the United States and formerly Canada to inmates who have misbehaved; for example, assaulting prison guards or fellow prisoners. It is similar to meatloaf in texture, but has a wider variety of ingredients. Prison loaf is usually bland, perhaps even unpleasant, but prison wardens argue that nutraloaf provides enough nutrition to keep prisoners healthy without requiring utensils to be issued.
- "Nutraloaf" | 2013-08-15 | 21 Upvotes 69 Comments
The panopticon is a type of institutional building and a system of control designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all prisoners of an institution to be observed by a single security guard, without the inmates being able to tell whether they are being watched.
Although it is physically impossible for the single guard to observe all the inmates' cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that they are motivated to act as though they are being watched at all times. Thus, the inmates are effectively compelled to regulate their own behaviour. The architecture consists of a rotunda with an inspection house at its centre. From the centre the manager or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, and asylums, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a panopticon prison. It is his prison that is now most widely meant by the term "panopticon".
The Xinjiang re-education camps, officially called Vocational Education and Training Centers by the government of the People's Republic of China, are internment camps that have been operated by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government for the purpose of indoctrinating Uyghurs since 2017 as part of a "people's war on terror" announced in 2014. The camps were established under General Secretary Xi Jinping's administration and led by party secretary, Chen Quanguo. These camps are reportedly operated outside the legal system; many Uyghurs have reportedly been interned without trial and no charges have been levied against them. Local authorities are reportedly holding hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in these camps as well as other ethnic minority groups, for the stated purpose of countering extremism and terrorism and promoting sinicization.
As of 2018, it was estimated that the Chinese authorities may have detained hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other ethnic Turkic Muslims, Christians as well as some foreign citizens such as Kazakhstanis, who are being held in these secretive internment camps which are located throughout the region. In May 2018, Randall Schriver of the United States Department of Defense claimed that "at least a million but likely closer to three million citizens" were imprisoned in detention centers in a strong condemnation of the "concentration camps". In August 2018, a United Nations human rights panel said that it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in China have been held in "re-education camps". There have also been multiple reports from media, politicians and researchers comparing the camps to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
In 2019, the United Nations ambassadors from 22 nations, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom signed a letter condemning China's mass detention of the Uyghurs and other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the camps. Conversely, a joint statement was signed by 37 states commending China's counter-terrorism program in Xinjiang, including Algeria, the DR Congo, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, North Korea, Egypt, Nigeria, the Philippines and Sudan.
- "Xinjiang Re-Education Camps" | 2019-10-03 | 46 Upvotes 24 Comments
A helicopter prison escape is made when an inmate escapes from a prison by means of a helicopter. This list includes prisoner escapes where a helicopter was used in an attempt to free prisoners from a place of internment, a prison or correctional facility.
One of the earliest instances of using a helicopter to escape a prison was the escape of Joel David Kaplan, nicknamed "Man Fan", on August 19, 1971 from the Santa Martha Acatitla in Mexico. Kaplan was a New York businessman who not only escaped the prison but eventually got out of Mexico and went on to write a book about his experience, The 10-Second Jailbreak.
France has had more recorded helicopter escape attempts than any other country, with at least 11. One of the most notable French jail breaks occurred in 1986, when the wife of bank robber Michel Vaujour studied for months to learn how to fly a helicopter. Using her newly acquired skills, she rented a white helicopter and flew low over Paris to pluck her husband off the roof of his fortress prison. Vaujour was later seriously wounded in a shootout with police, and his pilot wife was arrested.
The record for most helicopter escapes goes to convicted murderer Pascal Payet, who has used helicopters to escape from prisons in 2001, 2003, and most recently 2007.
Another multiple helicopter escapee is Vasilis Paleokostas who on February 22, 2009 escaped for the second time from the same prison. Because of this, many prisons have taken applicable precautions, such as nets or cables strung over open prison courtyards.
- "List of Helicopter Prison Escapes" | 2021-02-06 | 17 Upvotes 4 Comments
Jasenovac was a concentration and extermination camp established in Slavonia by the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in occupied Yugoslavia during World War II. The concentration camp, one of the ten largest in Europe, was established and operated by the governing Ustaše regime, which was the only quisling regime in occupied Europe to operate extermination camps solely on their own for Jews and other ethnic groups.
It was established in August 1941 in marshland at the confluence of the Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac, and was dismantled in April 1945. It was "notorious for its barbaric practices and the large number of victims". Unlike German Nazi-run camps, Jasenovac "specialized in one-on-one violence of a particularly brutal kind" and prisoners were primarily murdered manually with the use of blunt objects such as knives, hammers and axes.
In Jasenovac the majority of victims were ethnic Serbs (as part of the Genocide of the Serbs); others were Jews (The Holocaust), Roma (The Porajmos), and some political dissidents. Jasenovac was a complex of five subcamps spread over 210 km2 (81 sq mi) on both banks of the Sava and Una rivers. The largest camp was the "Brickworks" camp at Jasenovac, about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Zagreb. The overall complex included the Stara Gradiška sub-camp, the killing grounds across the Sava river at Gradina Donja, five work farms, and the Uštica Roma camp.
During and since World War II, there has been much debate and controversy regarding the number of victims killed at the Jasenovac concentration camp complex during its more than three-and-a-half years of operation. After the war, a figure of 700,000 reflected the "conventional wisdom". Since 2002, the Museum of Victims of Genocide in Belgrade has no longer defended the figure of 700,000 to 1 million victims of the camp. In 2005, Dragan Cvetković, a researcher from the Museum, and a Croatian co-author published a book on wartime losses in the NDH which gave a figure of approximately 100,000 victims of Jasenovac. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. presently estimates that the Ustaše regime murdered between 77,000 and 99,000 people in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945.
- "Jasenovac Concentration Camp" | 2021-05-31 | 11 Upvotes 2 Comments
The Kirkbride Plan was a system of mental asylum design advocated by American psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809–1883) in the mid-19th century. The asylums built in the Kirkbride design, often referred to as Kirkbride Buildings (or simply Kirkbrides), were constructed during the mid-to-late-19th century in the United States. The structural features of the hospitals as designated by Kirkbride were contingent on his theories regarding the healing of the mentally ill, in which environment and exposure to natural light and air circulation were crucial. The hospitals built according to the Kirkbride Plan would adopt various architectural styles, but had in common the "bat wing" style floor plan, housing numerous wings that sprawl outward from the center.
The first hospital designed under the Kirkbride Plan was the Trenton State Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, constructed in 1848. Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century, numerous psychiatric hospitals were designed under the Kirkbride Plan across the United States. By the twentieth century, popularity of the design had waned, largely due to the economic pressures of maintaining the immense facilities, as well as contestation of Kirkbride's theories amongst the medical community.
Numerous Kirkbride structures still exist, though many have been demolished or partially-demolished and repurposed. At least 30 of the original Kirkbride buildings have been registered with the National Register of Historic Places in the United States, either directly or through their location on hospital campuses or in historic districts.
- "Kirkbride Plan" | 2022-05-26 | 60 Upvotes 24 Comments
During the early stages of the Iraq War, members of the United States Army and the CIA committed a series of human rights violations and war crimes against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape and the killing of Manadel al-Jamadi. The abuses came to public attention with the publication of photographs of the abuse by CBS News in April 2004. The incidents caused shock and outrage, receiving widespread condemnation within the United States and internationally.
The George W. Bush administration claimed that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were isolated incidents and not indicative of U.S. policy.: 328 This was disputed by humanitarian organizations including the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch; these organizations stated that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were part of a wider pattern of torture and brutal treatment at American overseas detention centers, including those in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay.: 328
Documents popularly known as the Torture Memos came to light a few years later. These documents, prepared in the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States Department of Justice, authorized certain enhanced interrogation techniques (generally held to involve torture) of foreign detainees. The memoranda also argued that international humanitarian laws, such as the Geneva Conventions, did not apply to American interrogators overseas. Several subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), have overturned Bush administration policy, ruling that the Geneva Conventions do apply.
In response to the events at Abu Ghraib, the United States Department of Defense removed 17 soldiers and officers from duty. Eleven soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, aggravated assault and battery. Between May 2004 and April 2006, these soldiers were court-martialed, convicted, sentenced to military prison, and dishonorably discharged from service. Two soldiers, found to have perpetrated many of the worst offenses at the prison, Specialist Charles Graner and PFC Lynndie England, were subject to more severe charges and received harsher sentences. Graner was convicted of assault, battery, conspiracy, maltreatment of detainees, committing indecent acts and dereliction of duty; he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and loss of rank, pay and benefits. England was convicted of conspiracy, maltreating detainees and committing an indecent act and sentenced to three years in prison. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the commanding officer of all detention facilities in Iraq, was reprimanded and demoted to the rank of colonel. Several more military personnel who were accused of perpetrating or authorizing the measures, including many of higher rank, were not prosecuted. In 2004, President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld apologized for the Abu Ghraib abuses.