Making a Profit from Incarceration – The Human Rights Concern of Contract Prisons

 The country was first introduced to for-profit or “contract” prisons as a response to the influx of immigrants as well as overall increasing incarceration rates during the 1980s. The decade between 1980-1990 saw the greatest growth in state incarceration rates. The 107 percent change is largely attributed to greater enforcement of drug-related offenses[1]. Contract prisons…

Education Programs in Prisons: Overcoming Obstacles to Sustaining a Program–And Then What?

Addressing the controversy and methodology of prison education programs Part I: Vision From a political standpoint, the role of prisons ranges from dispensing punishment and preserving public safety to facilitating rehabilitation. From a human rights perspective, on the other hand, we can readily envision prisons as potentially robust educational centers. Under the section heading, “Making…

Learning and Unlearning the Prison System

For a week in 1842 Fred A. Packard, a public intellectual famous for his advocacy for Sunday school, toured Auburn State Penitentiary on behalf of the Philadelphia Society for the Alleviation of the Miseries of Public Prisons. He gave the world’s most famous prison facility a glowing review, marveling at the orderly schedules kept by…

Bots and Biometrics

Approximately 70 million people are on the move due to conflict, political instability, environmental disasters, and economic hardship. As a result, many states and international organizations involved in migration management are employing Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and biometric data collection to strengthen border enforcement and streamline immigration decision-making. The state’s control of borders through bots and…

Gay Rights as Human Rights

The pitfalls and promises of global LGBTQ activism “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,” Hillary Clinton said in 2011 to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The relationship between LGBTQ activism and human rights has become the subject of both celebration and criticism. On the one hand, human rights initiatives…

Rape: Weapon of War

By: Alina Glaubitz “Papa Bemba sent us,” they said. Armed and clothed in uniforms, mimicking those of the Central African Republic army, the Banyamulengués entered witness P199’s[1] compound in Bondoro. Shrill, heart-breaking screams tore across the compound. As witness P199 crouched, hiding behind a thicket of plants, she saw two rows of soldiers, as though…

The Singapore We Refuse To Acknowledge

An account of the human rights violations behind one of the most successful nations in the world, and how Yale and Yale-NUS are defined by them. The city-state of Singapore is one of the most developed, economically powerful, and safest places in the world. But beneath these layers lies a government that viciously restricts the…

The Crisis of Girls’ Education in West and Central Africa

Obstacles to securing the right to education amidst violence, gender expectations & colonial legacy In May 2015, an international conference in Oslo, Norway opened for endorsement the Safe Schools Declaration, an inter-governmental political commitment to strengthen education in times of conflict. By declaring the need to “promote and protect the right to education and to…

Modern Slavery in Mauritania

Slavery still exists. It is not a practice banished by history, locked within the “shameful episode” chapter of a textbook. It is a practice alive and well. And in some cases, it is thriving. One of the places most wounded by this disgraceful institution is the West-African country Mauritania, which CNN aptly dubbed “slavery’s last…

Let’s Get Serious About Girls’ Education in Pakistan

“Education is one of the best ways to improve society,” said Shaheer Malik, a senior at Yale from Pakistan. Education as an entirety is an ongoing problem in Pakistan for boys and especially for girls.  In fact, 32 percent of primary school-aged Pakistani girls are not in school, compared to 21 percent of boys. Furthermore,…