Brian Sonenstein
Brian Sonenstein
Brian Sonenstein is an independent journalist and editor living in Portland, Maine. He is one of the founders of Shadowproof and a co-host of the Beyond Prisons podcast. Brian is a former local criminal justice columnist for Maine’s Portland Phoenix and was an associate publisher for the independent news and activism website Firedoglake. His work has been published in outlets such as Solitary Watch, Prison Legal News, Truthout, and SF Bay View.Source
Portland, ME
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Greyhound therapy Archives - Shadowproof

Greyhound therapy Archives - Shadowproof

A local police chief and an officer in Carrollton County, Kentucky, were indicted by a grand jury this week after allegedly placing a 31-year-old mentally ill inmate on a bus to Florida instead of taking him to the hospital for a court-ordered psychological evaluation. Attorney General for the state of Kentucky Jack Conway said in a press release today that officers Ronald Dickow and Michael Willhoite were indicted on charges of kidnapping and official misconduct.

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Brian Sonenstein
5d ago
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Juvenile Justice Archives - Shadowproof

Juvenile Justice Archives - Shadowproof

The complex issue of risk assessment places some people at a disadvantage, despite mitigating factors that could ensure they return to court.The United States Supreme Court determined juvenile offenders serving life sentences for homicides without parole should be granted the opportunity to “show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption.” The decision clarified a ruling issued in the 2012 case Miller v. Alabama, which prohibited life without parole sentences for juveniles who

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Brian Sonenstein
6d ago
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William Kissinger Archives - Shadowproof

William Kissinger Archives - Shadowproof

An incarcerated man at the Angola Prison in Louisiana sued prison officials for throwing him in solitary confinement and denying him due process in retaliation for speaking to a journalist at the local Baton Rouge Advocate. William Kissinger, imprisoned at Angola for over 27 years, should be considered a “model prisoner”

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Brian Sonenstein
7d ago
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Pelican Bay Archives - Shadowproof

Pelican Bay Archives - Shadowproof

California has agreed to restrict the use of long-term solitary confinement in a settlement agreement filed in federal court this week. Restrictions are expected to reduce the number of inmates in isolation, cap the number of continuous years an inmate can spend in solitary confinement to five, and establish measures by which inmates can more easily achieve release back to general population.

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 18
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prison Archives - Page 5 of 5 - Shadowproof

prison Archives - Page 5 of 5 - Shadowproof

2015 has been a big year for Corizon Health Services: in the span of six months, the nation’s largest for-profit inmate healthcare provider has managed to break not one, but two different state records for the largest wrongful death settlement payouts in history.A new report by In The Public Interest (ITPI) illustrates how private companies that operate prisons or services within prisons use correctional associations to gain intimate access to decision makers in government — almost entirely off the books. Private companies pay millions of dollars each year to attend their conferences, lead...

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 15
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#VaughnRebellion Archives - Shadowproof

#VaughnRebellion Archives - Shadowproof

It has been one year since the uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. While DOC demands are being met, little has changed for prisoners.On episode 10 of Beyond Prisons, we talk about Thomas Gordon, who is incarcerated at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, a state prison in Delaware.Prisoners at Delaware’s James T. Vaughn Correctional Center wrote an open letter to the warden and department of corrections, which includes a list of 22 requests addressing various problems at the facility. The list expands upon demands made in February, when men in the housing unit, Building C,...

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 14
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Featured Reporting From Shadowproof

Featured Reporting From Shadowproof

Investigations, series, special editions, and reporting by freelance journalists for ShadowproofThe conduct of jail doctors working on behalf of medical contractor Advanced Correctional Healthcare is at the center of an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit facing Dearborn County. Despite the fact that ACH touts its staff as being “correctional trained,” an examination of the records of their Doctors Nadir Al-Shami and RonaldThe United States seeks to deport the imam of the biggest mosque in Oregon, a religious leader who is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil...

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 14
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Kinross Archives - Shadowproof

Kinross Archives - Shadowproof

On September 9, most prisoners at Michigan’s Kinross Correctional Facility took part in the national prison strike against slave labor and refused to report for work. The prison responded by withholding their hot meals and eventually launched an assault against the prisoners for their peaceful protest. Administrators later withheld medical

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 11
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Survey Finds Crime Victims Overwhelmingly Favor Rehabilitation Over Punishment

Survey Finds Crime Victims Overwhelmingly Favor Rehabilitation Over Punishment

The Alliance For Safety And Justice published the results of the first-ever survey of crime victims’ perspectives on the justice system and public safety. It sheds light on trends in victimization, as well as how victims of crime believe criminals should be held accountable.The National Survey of Victims’ Views On Safety and Justice [] comes at a critical moment, as the public and its representatives in government debate the proper reforms to the criminal justice system. It indicates crime victims favor funding education, jobs, health care, and other services over incarceration by wide...

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Brian Sonenstein
Aug 10
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Why Journalists Value Shadowproof, In Their Own Words

Why Journalists Value Shadowproof, In Their Own Words

The opportunity to provide a strong platform to journalists whose work deserves more attention is a major part of what makes Shadowproof a vibrant media organization.We take great pride in not only curating great adversarial reporting but in providing our writers with rigorous editorial support and fair compensation.But the only way we can maintain support of freelancers is if our readers chip in a few dollars or become a Shadowproof member.Journalists who published with us would like you to know why Shadowproof is important to them and their work.Read what they had to say below and support...

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Brian Sonenstein
Nov 8
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Prison Protest Archives - Page 12 of 33 - Shadowproof

Prison Protest Archives - Page 12 of 33 - Shadowproof

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein about a bill she introduced, which would prohibit the federal government from separating immigrant children from their families during arrests at ports of entry or within 100 miles of the border of the United States. As he asked his question, Tapper broughtPanagioti Tsolkas, an organizer with the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, discusses the intersections between the criminal legal system and the environment.The United States Department of Agriculture provided over $277 million in funding for county jail construction since 1996,...

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 8
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Obama’s Historic Commutations Obscure Clemency Record

Obama’s Historic Commutations Obscure Clemency Record

President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 214 federal prisoners this week, 67 of whom are serving life sentences. The president has now commuted the sentences of 562 men and women.The commutations are the result of a clemency review project first advanced by the administration in 2014, which put a small team of lawyers on examining harsh sentences to determine whether they should be shortened to a length commensurate to present day sentencing.The White House , and media outlets eagerly parroted, the line that President Obama “has granted commutations to more prisoners than the past...

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Brian Sonenstein
Aug 4
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Angola Prison Archives - Shadowproof

Angola Prison Archives - Shadowproof

An incarcerated man at the Angola Prison in Louisiana sued prison officials for throwing him in solitary confinement and denying him due process in retaliation for speaking to a journalist at the local Baton Rouge Advocate. William Kissinger, imprisoned at Angola for over 27 years, should be considered a “model prisoner”

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 7
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The Legacy Of Attica: Prisoners Plan Labor Strike For Rebellion’s Anniversary

The Legacy Of Attica: Prisoners Plan Labor Strike For Rebellion’s Anniversary

“I didn’t get involved in the prison struggle, it ran me over,” says Ohio prisoner Greg Curry.Curry has ever since he was indicted for two aggravated murders stemming from the 1993 Ohio prison rebellion, known as the , and was subsequently convicted.This year, Curry will  a call to action in support of a national coordinated prison work stoppage against abusive labor conditions. Prisoners in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and other states planned the action for September 9, 2016, the forty-fifth anniversary of the rebellion at the Attica State Prison in upstate New York.In words that echo...

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Brian Sonenstein
Aug 31
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Pregnancy Tests Archives - Shadowproof

Pregnancy Tests Archives - Shadowproof

Under a settlement with ACLU of Northern California, Alameda County & Corizon Health Services can no longer force women in custody to take pregnancy tests.

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 6
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Native Lives Matter Archives - Shadowproof

Native Lives Matter Archives - Shadowproof

Black girls were about three times as likely as white girls to be referred to juvenile court, and 20% more likely to be detained than white girls. American Indian/Alaska Native girls were 50% more likely to be locked-up.The death of a Rosebud Sioux man in Denver earlier this month is a painful reminder that police shootings are not limited to any one part of the United States, and certainly not just to places that received mainstream media attention after recent killings.

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 5
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Advanced Correctional Healthcare Archives - Shadowproof

Advanced Correctional Healthcare Archives - Shadowproof

The family of a deceased man who was incarcerated at Kentucky’s Bourbon County Jail has filed a federal lawsuit against the county, jail officials, and the private medical contractor Advanced Correctional Healthcare. They allege “deliberate indifference” was shown to the man’s “obviously serious medical needs,” as he suffered from opioidIn jails that are overcrowded, underfunded, and face mounting medical costs, fiscal expediency can trump basic principles of medical care.A federal lawsuit claims a pregnant pre-trial inmate was denied basic access to healthcare that could have saved the...

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 4
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punitive segregation Archives - Shadowproof

punitive segregation Archives - Shadowproof

In December 2016, Iowa attorney Mary Richard filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Education opposing the use of seclusion units in schools. The units are located within special education classrooms and used to hold children with autism and other disorders in “time-out.” The seclusion units are generally built of plywood, measuring six by sixNYC Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte made his second request for more time to end punitive segregation for Young Adults on Rikers Island.

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Brian Sonenstein
Jan 3
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