ABC News (Australia): Prisoners in pictures: A history of incarceration in NSW told with newly digitised archive. “A newly digitised archive detailing the stories of nearly 50,000 prisoners incarcerated in New South Wales between 1870 and 1930 is the foundation of a new exhibition, and one that is hoped to stimulate more investigation. Captured: Portraits of Crime is an exhibition and major project of State Archives and Records NSW, which has selected 37 of the prisoners to tell their stories in-depth.” The exhibition publication is easily found and interesting reading. I’m having more difficulty finding the full archive.
Indian Express: Government to launch national database on undertrials. “The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is working on a national digital database of undertrials. “The data will be uploaded from the district centres. When operational, the database will make available at the push of a key information on undertrials languishing in jails across the country.” An “undertrial” is someone who is in custody and awaiting trial for a crime.
CBC News: Clock ticking on historical prison documents, former correctional officer fears . “David Harvey carefully turns the pages of an old prison ledger, the pages ripped, the binding cracking as he shuffles each page. It’s this document and hundreds more that are at stake if someone doesn’t take the necessary steps to preserve them, he says.”
Slate: Admissions Books for an Early-19th-Century Prison Hold a Wealth of Stories. “The American Philosophical Society’s library holds four fascinating admissions books offering details on prisoners held at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary in the 1830s and 1840s…. It’s a little difficult to read the scanned versions of the books, but Scott Ziegler, of the American Philosophical Society, and Michelle Ziogas have transcribed the information within and made the data available through the University of Pennsylvania’s Magazine of Early American Datasets.”
Queen’s University Belfast: Queen’s University Launches the Visual Voices of the Prisons Memory Archive. “Queen’s University in partnership with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and the Prison Memory Archive (PMA) Management Group, will today (Wednesday 29 March) launch The Visual Voices of the Prison Memory Archive project. The Prison Memory Archive is a collection of 175 filmed walk-and-talk recordings with those who had a connection with Armagh Gaol and the Maze and Long Kesh Prison during the conflict in Northern Ireland. The unique recordings were filmed during 2006 and 2007 with prison officers, prisoners, and probation officers, discussing at length their experiences of the prison. A diverse range of other participants include relatives, teachers, chaplains, lawyers, doctors, and maintenance workers.”
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has updated its public prisoner lookup system. “On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections launched a new offender look-up website with a more advanced search function. Members of the public can now query the department’s database to search by race, age, conviction, and sentence, among other identifiers.”
Government Technology: Should Social Media Be Banned in Prison? “Some think that social media is a luxury that should not be provided to prisoners for fear of organizing more crime, but others argue that social media is necessary for inmates to return to the public after serving their sentence.”