Feb 292012

By Marcus Flores

This will not be the first column dedicated to Rick Santorum.  Little attention was given to him when he was nestled into the shadow of obscurity and bigotry in which he ought to have remained.  But since then, Santorum has claimed a belated win in Iowa and added more states to his count, meaning that he has catapulted himself into the role of a viable politician.  Consequently, concerned voters ought to be glaring at the Senator even more.

Santorum has quite the desire—a need even—to insert his Catholic tentacles into everyone’s bedroom.  This invasion takes numerous forms.  By an act of sophistry, or perhaps creative ignorance, he posits that the Constitution permits states to decide whether or not to allow birth control for consenting and married adults.  He has also vowed to annul all gay marriages if elected president, because he believes “nothing is wrong with homosexuality, only homosexual acts.” Most significantly, the Senator has made it incredibly clear that he opposes abortion under all circumstances. These are no less than outrageous assaults on civil liberties. Continue reading »

Jan 122010

Women inmates in a Corrections Corp. of America world

By Beth Connors-Manke

The situation at Otter Creek Correctional Center in Floyd County, KY at once reminds us of the sordid history of female incarceration as well as presents us with a startling glimpse of its present state of affairs.

The Herald-Leader reported on January 8 that Gov. Beshear ordered the removal of some 400 female inmates from the prison due to “widespread allegations of sexual misconduct” by guards at the institution, which is operated by Corrections Corporation of America. This order came after Hawaii pulled 165 of its female inmates from the prison in July and after the Kentucky Department of Corrections had finished an investigation of 18 alleged cases of sexual misconduct by prison guards.

Part of the continuing privatization of U.S. prisons, Otter Creek is an all-female minimum/medium security facility owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) since 1998. CCA calls itself “the nation’s industry leader of privately-managed corrections solutions for federal, state and local government” and claims to have founded the private corrections industry. Continue reading »