Worth Your Attention

  • Prisms of War by Joe Labriola 
    Joe's book of poetry, Prisms of War, received a succint, well-written review in May by David Willson in the "Books in Review II" online complement to "Books in Review," which runs in The VVA Veteran, the national magazine of Vietnam Veterans of America.

  • Hack Reveals Possible Illegal Surveillance of Phone Calls Between Inmates and Their Lawyers 
    This article suggests that between 2011 and 2014, despite official assurances to the contrary, privileged phone communications between lawyers and clients that are housed in county jails may have been taped, stored, procured, and listened to by prosecutors. According to the director of the ACLU's National Prison Project, "This may be the most massive breach of the attorney-client privilege in modern U.S. history, and that's certainly something to be concerned about."

  • The Prison Terrorist: "Wears the Badge" 
    This article by Tim Muise in Mass Dissent decries the purported needless piling on of abuse by prison guards towards inmates under their supervision. Mass Dissent is a newsletter of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

  • FBI's scientifically invalid forensic testimony 
    In a high percentage of trials in which FBI hair evidence was used against defendants, "FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of matches of crime-scene hairs to defendants, backing their claims by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their case work" [emphasis ours]. This testimony "overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project."

  • Not just criminal justice but elder justice 
    "Our country's broken criminal justice system has condemned substantial parts of whole generations to impoverishment and ill-health of mind and body in their old age. Add to this voter disenfranchisement laws in many states, and we have fashioned a human rights disaster — a permanent under-caste of poor old people who are denied even the tiniest voice in our democratic system."

  • "With 2.3 Million People Incarcerated in the US, Prisons Are Big Business" 
    This article by Liliana Segura describes a series of videos that shed light on the for-profit companies that are profiteering through business with prisons. The first video highlights a single phone company that makes over $500 million per year charging prisoners exorbitant rates to keep in touch with their loved ones. The series was coordinated by The Nation magazine and the ACLU.

    Related: "Prison Phone Company Whines, 'WE MISS YOU!'"


  • "The Other Death Sentence: Aging and Dying in America's Prisons" 
    This article by James Ridgeway features Joe's experience caring for Lefty Gilday.

  • R.I.P. Ray Gauthier 
    Joe Labriola has long complained about the poor quality of medical care and conditions in medical clinics within Massachusetts prisons. Ray Gauthier's story serves as a sad example. See also the related letter to the University of Masschusetts Correctional Health Program and the tribute to Ray from the Red Tail Alliance.

  • The Wrongful Death & Injury Institute Inc. 
    This research and advocacy organization provides a great collection of resources concerning medical treatment in the prison system.

  • "Not all the convicted prisoners who claim it are innocent — but some are" 
    Thanks to organizations like the Innocence Project, there have been more than 330 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

  • "Prisons commit more crimes than inmates" 
    This Yale Daily News article summarizes many of the faults in our prison system.