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Prison

Art Collector Agnes Gund Starts a Criminal Justice Fund: “This is what I need to do.”

Art collector Agnes Gund recently confirmed she sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 "Masterpiece" for $165 million for the explicit purpose of creating the Art for Justice Fund, hopefully encouraging a new wave of activism in the fine art world.

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Ava DuVernay Illuminates the Connection Between Incarceration and Slavery in Netflix Documentary 13th

While you'll have to go to Washington D.C. and visit the newly-opened National Museum of African-American History and Culture to see the Ava DuVernay short documentary, August 28: A Day In The Life Of A People, where it will be on view exclusively, there's feature length documentary of DuVernay's that you'll be able to see in your own home this next month.

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Orange Is the New Black Season Four and Intersectional Social Justice, Part One [SPOILERS]

The System vs. The Inmates

Season 4 of Netflix's Orange is the New Black is its most substantive yet, which also makes it the most emotionally draining season of the show. It hits real-world issues hard, and as we see the effects of the prison industrial complex on both the prisoners and the guards on the show, we can see how important it is for social justice work to be intersectional.

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US Army Soldier Chelsea Manning Could Face Solitary Confinement for Some Really Stupid, Trumped-Up Reasons

Her toothpaste is expired? WHOSE FAULT IS THAT, PRISON?!

Apparently, "disrespecting" people by sweeping food onto the floor, having copies of I Am Malala and Out Magazine, and letting your toothpaste expire are all behaviors deserving of the mental torture that is solitary confinement in prison. At least, they are according to the US Army.

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Kittens Find Their Way Into NY Maximum Security Purrison (And Our Hearts)

Serving eight to nine lives, time off for good behavior.

The NY Correctional System is a place that most of us never want to experience. Unless we're kittens, apparently. A litter of four hardened felines has reportedly conned their way into the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Upstate NY.

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Possible Computer Glitch Causes All Doors in Florida Prison to Open

I hate to be a luddite but whatever happened to old fashioned bars and locks?

Say what you want about the Florida justice and penal systems, but... well, yeah, say what you want, because they're both awful. Especially at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, where all the cell doors opened for no reason. In other news, this absolutely happened in a Dave Barry novel once. I'm pretty sure it was Big Trouble.

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What Happens to Your Body During a Hunger Strike

As many as 30,000 California prisoners are refusing meals today. Here's what they have to look forward to.

This morning in California, nearly 30,000 inmates in prisons throughout the state's penitentiary system entered the second day of an apparent hunger strike. While the beginning of Ramadan -- during which Muslim prisoners do not take meals during daylight hours -- has complicated an exact count, it's becoming clear that thousands of the prisoners who refused meals yesterday did so not out of religious obligation, but in solidarity with prisoners at the Pelican Bay State Prison who are protesting what they call abusive policies that can find prisoners suspected of gang ties locked in solitary confinement for decades at a time. While this isn't an official hunger strike yet -- the state's policy is not to deem a prisoner on hunger strike until he or she has missed 9 meals -- this looks a lot like the beginning of the largest one seen in America in some time. With that in mind, we bring you this primer on what happens to the body during a hunger strike. Just a warning: It's not pretty.

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If You’ve Ever Wanted to Watch a Prison-Administered Polygraph Test, Now’s Your Chance

Though YouTube has strict guidelines when it comes to uploading video content on the site, that hasn't stopped millions of users from showcasing oddities from time to time. If we were to say that someone uploaded footage of a man undergoing a prison-administered polygraph test -- something that more often than not isn't meant for public view -- over the past weekend, you'd probably guess that it's already been pulled and the feds are knocking on the user's door already. In any other situation that would be the case, but this video of convicted murderer Luke Mitchell being questioned was not only posted publicly on YouTube with legal permission, but it is also possibly the first of its kind to be presented publicly on the Internet.

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Brazilian Prisoners Can Now Bike Their Way to Freedom

Apparently, prison can be pretty boring. That's on top of it being, well, prison. Plus you've got all that potential labor just sitting around doing nothing terribly productive. Why not utilize it? That's what Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison in Brazil is doing. For every 16 hours prisoners put in on a set of special bicycles, they will remove a day from their sentence. You see, these bikes are charging batteries from the effort. So they're trading hard time for the most literal form of manpower in existence.

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Prisoners Build the Darndest Things: Impressive Things Prisoners Have Illegally Built

Where there's a will, there's a way and prisoners have a pretty strong will to do several things: hurt each other, escape, and make and hide contraband. Although you might not think the prisoners in our jails are the brightest fellows, they have created some pretty intense things from what little they had available. Like the makeshift shotgun above. Photographer Marc Steinmetz has put together a collection of some of the more impressive inventions found in prisons. Kind of makes you wonder what's out there that hasn't been found. Check after the jump for pictures of some more creations including a pistol and a tattoo gun.

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Thieves Break Into Prison, Steal 50-Inch Plasma TV

In a perfect example of "you're doing it wrong," thieves broke into New Zealand's New Plymouth Prison and escaped with a fifty-inch big-screen plasma television. A fire at the jail alerted firefighters to the crime scene when it set off sprinklers ten minutes before midnight. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find curtains in an administration building that were deliberately set on fire, noticed a window that was forced open, and called the police. In yet another instance of "you're doing it wrong," the thieves supposedly made off with the television on foot.

The thieves were either very brave, or absolutely ridiculous, as they chose to break into a minimum-to-high security prison, rather than an electronics store, to steal a plasma television, when everyone knows the only reason to break into prison is to steal your brother.

(Stuff.co.nz via Nothing To Do With Arbroath)

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Inmate Can’t Play Dungeons & Dragons, Because It’s A “Gang-Related Activity”

That's right: a prisoner in Wisconsin who described himself as a "very serious" Dungeons & Dragons player was denied his ability to play the game by a Court of Appeals after a lengthy legal battle with the prison officials who banned him from D&D in 2004. The prisoner, Kevin T. Singer, is currently serving a life sentence for murder. The ban is less interesting than the reasoning behind it: this being that Dungeons & Dragons "promotes gang-related activity."

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