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Articles by Anne-Marie Cusac

Former Pennsylvania DOC Director Hired to Run CDCR

Jeffrey A. Beard, an almost 40-year old veteran of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and most recently that state’s Corrections Secretary, was hired by California Governor Jerry Brown in December 2012 to become the new head of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Beard, 65, replaces Matthew ...

Shocked and Stunned: The Growing Use of Tasers

by Anne Marie Cusac

High-powered tasers are the new fad in law enforcement. They are becoming ever more prevalent even as their safety is increasingly in question. The proliferation of tasers in police departments across the country has led to unconventional uses. Among those hit by tasers are elderly people ...

Abu Ghraib, USA

When I first saw the photo, taken at the Abu Ghraib prison, of a hooded and robed figure strung with electrical wiring, I thought of the Sacramento, California, city jail.

When I heard that dogs had been used to intimidate and bite at least one detainee at Abu Ghraib, I ...

Ill Treatment on Our Shores

( On October 24, 2001, Muhammed Butt died of a heart attack at the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny, New Jersey. Butt, a Pakistani national, was detained on September 19 by the FBI as a suspect connected with the September 11 attacks. He was then transferred to the Immigration and ...

You're in the Hole: A Crackdown on Dissident Prisoners

It was September 19, 2001. Elizabeth McAlister had not heard from her husband, Philip Berrigan, in more than a week. Such silence on Berrigan's part was "most unusual," she says. Convinced that something was wrong, she telephoned the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, Ohio, where the seventy-seven-year-old peace activist ...

"The Judge Gave Me Ten Years--He Didn't Sentence Me to Death"

"The Judge Gave Me Ten Years--He Didn't Sentence Me to Death"


Prisoners with HIV deprived of proper care

By Anne-Marie Cusac

In prisons and jails across the country, prisoners with HIV or AIDS are denied proper treatment. In many cases, guards and medical staff have blocked prisoners from getting ...

The Restraint Chair: Safe and Humane?

Jail and prison employees call it the "strap-o-lounger," the "barcalounger," the "we care chair," and the "be sweet chair." Prisoners and their lawyers have other names for the device: "torture chair," "slave chair," and "devil's chair." They are not referring to the electric chair, but to a restraining device ...