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…

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…

Human Rights and the Education System of the United States

This article aims to give a general overview of the human rights concerns within our domestic education system, and to draw attention to an accumulating education debt that questions the legitimacy of the statement — “equal opportunity for all.” As is evident from the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, the United States…

Gun Control: A Matter of Life, Death, and Fundamental Rights

On February 14th, 2018, Nikolas Cruz went on a rampage, firing wildly at students and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, ultimately killing 17 people. The massacre incited a nationwide debate surrounding gun control; a youth-led movement pushed for stricter gun laws, while a resistant movement clung to broad interpretations of the Second Amendment,…

Universal Healthcare: The Heart of the Matter

We do not choose the bodies we are born into. Our genetics, environment, and life experiences are products of chance—yet they play an overwhelming, almost determinative, role in our health outcomes. Spotty access to medical care and resources around the world contributes to the plight of millions suffering from preventable disease and chronic pain. Amidst…

Obstruction of the American Voter

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, also known as the VRA, is commonly considered the most effective piece of civil rights legislation in American history. For most of its existence, its popularity only increased. It has been amended five times by the United States Congress – each time was an expansion of its powers. The…

The Story of Malik Jones and its Relevance Today

In the past six years, a number of high-profile incidents have raised issues of police brutality to the forefront of the American consciousness. Beginning with the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin and followed by other nationally recognizable incidents including the police-related deaths of Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, and Sandra Bland, the…

Shameful Indifference: Shocking Injustice in Skid Row

Not that long ago, Marlene Quarless had a stable job and a four-bedroom home in Florida. When the Great Recession hit, she was laid off, had her home foreclosed, and lost all the good credit she had built up over her 62 years. In search of a fresh start, Quarless headed to Los Angeles to…