Welcome to Halden Prison

by Gughi Fassino and Emanuela Zuccal

Single cells with TV and private bathroom. No bars on windows. Daily life spent between work and school. Even a cottage where inmates can spend weekends with their families. Welcome to new Halden Prison, southern Norway, described by Time magazine as 'the most human jail in the world'. Here the philosophy is: since in Norway life sentence doesn't exist (the maximum penalty is 21 years), every inmate will go back to society. So far the model works: within two years of their release, only 20% of Norwegian prisoners end up back in jail.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Mob of the Dead Trailer (PS3)

Four mobsters find themselves trapped on the notorious Alcatraz Island. They soon find out though that they are not alone in the prison cell blocks. Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, and Ray Liotta star in one of the most frightening Zombies experiences yet.

"Mob of the Dead" is included with Uprising, the second DLC Map Pack available for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.


Mob of the Dead Trailer: Official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Video

Four mobsters find themselves trapped on the notorious Alcatraz Island. They soon find out though that they are not alone in the prison cell blocks. Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Madsen, and Ray Liotta star in one of the most frightening Zombies experiences yet.

"Mob of the Dead" is included with Uprising, the second DLC Map Pack available for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Uprising arrives first on Xbox LIVE on April 16th, with other platforms to follow. http://www.callofduty.com/blackops2


Ted Talks: Angela Patton: A Father-Daughter Dance ... in Prison

At Camp Diva, Angela Patton works to help girls and fathers stay connected and in each others' lives. But what about girls whose fathers can't be there -- because they're in jail? Patton tells the story of a very special father-daughter dance. (Filmed at TEDxWomen)


Cook County Illinois Correctional Officer Caught on Video Striking Inmate

Cook County Illinois Correctional officer caught on video striking inmate

Then tries to convince the inmate to lie about it
Cook County correctional officer Rico Palomino strikes an inmate on June 16. Palomino was charged Aug. 2 with official misconduct. The inmate, who was then bleeding from the mouth, stood up and left the hallway with Palomino, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Palomino told the inmate to tell authorities that he tried to hit Palomino first, or Palomino would report the inmate tried to escape. The victim was treated at Cermak Health Services where he received stitches to the inside of his mouth for a laceration.

After the incident, Palomino, who tried to justify use of force, filed several reports with conflicting information that stated the victim turned and reached for Palomino's shirt.

But when investigators reviewed the jail security surveillance video, it showed the inmate did not make any aggressive moves toward Palomino, prosecutors said


Ted Talks: Jeff Smith: Lessons in Business ... from Prison

Jeff Smith spent a year in prison. But what he discovered inside wasn't what he expected -- he saw in his fellow inmates boundless ingenuity and business savvy. He asks: Why don't we tap this entrepreneurial potential to help ex-prisoners contribute to society once they're back outside? (From the TED Talent Search event TED@NewYork.)


A Women's Prison Orchestra Thrives behind Bars

Women Inmates in Alaska's Hiland Mountain Correctional Center have found an artistic outlet: classical music. The impact of the women's prison orchestra is so powerful, some freed inmates even return to continue playing. (Dec. 3)


The Cocaine Trap

Stephen Sutton finds himself battling both tuberculosis and hostile inmates as he begins serving an 11-year prison sentence and wondering if he will make it out of this nightmare alive.


Ronald Reagan: Collective Bargaining = Freedom

Ronald Reagan On Unions:

"...But restoring the American dream requires more than restoring a sound, productive economy, vitally important as that is. It requires a return to spiritual and moral values, values so deeply held by those who came here to build a new life. We need to restore those values in our daily life, in our neighborhoods and in our government's dealings with the other nations of the world...
"These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. The values that have inspired other dissidents under Communist domination who've been willing to go into the gulag and suffer the torture of imprisonment because of their dissidence. They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children and it will disappear everywhere in the world. Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation how high is the price of freedom but also how much it is worth, that price...
"I want more than anything I've ever wanted, to have an administration that will, through its actions, at home and in the international arena, let millions of people know that Miss Liberty still "Lifts her lamp beside the golden door..."


Ted Talks: David R. Dow: Lessons from Death Row Inmates

What happens before a murder? In looking for ways to reduce death penalty cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates had similar biographies. In this talk he proposes a bold plan, one that prevents murders in the first place. (Filmed at TEDxAustin.)


The Mark of Cain

The Mark of Cain documents the fading art form and language of Russian criminal tattoos, formerly a forbidden topic in Russia. The now vanishing practice is seen as reflecting the transition of the broader Russian society. Filmed in some of Russia;s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of The Zone and The Code of Thieve.

The prisoners of the Stalinist Gulag, or "Zone," as it is called, developed a complex social structure (documented as early as the 1920s) that incorporated highly symbolic tattooing as a mark of rank. The existence of these inmates at prisons and forced labor camps was treated by the state as a deeply-kept secret. In the 1990s, Russia's prison population exploded, with overcrowding among the worst in the world. Some estimates suggest that in the last generation over thirty million of Russia's inmates have had tattoos even though the process is illegal inside Russian prisons.

The Mark of Cain examines every aspect of the tattooing, from the actual creation of the tattoo ink, interviews with the tattooers and soberly looks at the double-edged sword of prison tattoos. In many ways, they were needed to survive brutal Russian prisons, but mark the prisoner for life, which complicates any readmission to normal society they may have. Tattoos expressly identify what the convict has been convicted of, how many prisons he;s been in and what kind of criminal he is. Tattoos, essentially, tell you everything you need to know about that person without ever asking. Each tattoo represents a variety of things; cupolas on churches represent the number of convictions a convict has, epaulets tattooed on shoulders represent the rank of the individual in the crime world and so on and so forth.

The unflinching look at the Russian prison system is slowly woven into the film. Cells meant to hold 15 hold 35 to 45 men. Drug resistant tuberculosis runs rampant through the prison populations and prisoners are served three meals a day of watery slop. There are allegations of brutality by the guards. As these men deal with pestilence, violence and grossly substandard living conditions, the prison guards and administration put on a talent show.

The film served as source material for David Cronenberg's 2007 dramatic movie, Eastern Promises. He commented, "This is a very courageous documentary on the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons. I don't know how it ever got made, but it's beautiful, scary, and heartbreaking."

Producer: Alix Lambert