“We are recreating Bedlam. People who could be helped to lead happy, constructive and crime-free lives are condemned to a petty criminality and a life of incarcerated violence at taxpayers’ expense.”
— Frances Crook, quoted in The crisis in prison mental health services

Death row inmate Glenn Ford released 30 years after wrongful conviction

Glenn Ford has been freed from the notorious Angola prison in Louisiana having lived under the shadow of the death sentence for 30 years. He becomes one of the longest-serving death row inmates in US history to be exonerated.

Ford was released on the order of a judge in Shreveport after Louisiana state prosecutors indicated they could no longer stand by his conviction. In late 2013 the state notified Ford’s lawyers that a confidential informant had come forward with new information implicating another man who had been among four co-defendants originally charged in the case. Read more

Pictured: Glenn Ford, 64, talks to the media as he leaves the maximum-security Angola prison in Louisiana. Source: WAFB-TV 9

El Salvador gangs celebrate a day without murders

Two of the largest rival gangs in El Salvador have recently called a truce, leading to its first murder-free day for years. Much of the violence is blamed on Mexican drug cartels that use the country as a transit point

A Mara 18 gang member attends a press conference of his leaders at a prison in Quezaltepeque. Imprisoned gang leaders announced in a press conference on Wednesday that they have declared Salvadorian schools as peace zones Photograph: Luis Romero/AP

Honduras prison fire victims still missing

A fire in a Honduras prison has killed at least 350 and the fate of many more remains unknown. The Penitenciaria de Comayagua prison in Honduras was reportedly housing some 850 inmates, many of whom died in locked cells. The president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, has given assurances there will be an investigation.