“There is much sorrow in prison, disguised as hostility. The sorrow is plainly visible even in the most angry faces.” This message was posted on John McAfee’s personal Twitter account last June. Thirteen days later, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software died in his cell in the Barcelona prison Brians 2, where he had spent eight months in pretrial detention, pending rulings on extradition to the United States on charges of tax evasion and non-payment. McAfee left a note: “Instead of fully living it. I want to control my future, which doesn’t exist.” The autopsy declared his cause of death to be suicide.
In 2020, according to the Council of Europe’s SPACE study (see methodology), 480 people committed suicide in EU member state prisons, of which 172 were in pretrial detention. These people were either awaiting trial or pending the outcome of their appeal; they had not been convicted of any crime. Entering prison, especially before trial, correlates with a higher risk of suicide: in 2020, there were 17.5 suicides per 10,000 people in pretrial detention, double the 8.54 suicides per 10,000 people in the rest of the prison population.
Continue reading Translated story: The suicide rate among people in pretrial detention is double that of convicted prisoners
EVA BELMONTE CARMEN TORRECILLAS MARÍA ÁLVAREZ DEL VAYO DAVID CABO MIGUEL ÁNGEL GAVILANES
El Confidencial, Spain: MARÍA ZUIL DW, Germany: KIRA SCHACHT Eurologus, Hungary: LÁSZLÓ ARATÓ Divergente, Portugal: BEATRIZ WALVIESSE VoxEurop, Belgium: ADRIÁN BURTIN
English editing: LUCAS LAURSEN
May 10, 2022
Almost 100,000 people across the European Union (EU) have one thing in common: their justice systems have locked them up but no court has issued them a final sentence. “If you don’t have the death penalty, pretrial detention is the most severe punishment that a state can use against a person in a democracy,” says German lawyer Thomas Röth. Despite the profound economic, social and personal consequences of going to prison, European courts often use this provisional measure against people whom they must still consider innocent.
More than one in five people in European prisons were, at the beginning of 2021, in pretrial detention, meaning they are waiting for their trial or the result of an appeal. Some 22 of every 100,000 inhabitants in the European Union (EU) were deprived of their liberty before final conviction.
Continue reading Translated story:One in five people in EU prisons are in pretrial detention
IT WAS AFTER MIDNIGHT in the Maltese search-and-rescue zone of the Mediterranean when a rubber boat originating from Libya carrying dozens of migrants encountered a hulking cargo ship from Madeira and a European military aircraft. The ship’s captain stopped the engines, and the aircraft flashed its lights at the rubber boat. But neither the ship nor the aircraft came to the rescue. Instead, Maltese authorities told the ship’s captain to wait for vessels from Malta to pick up the migrants. By the time those boats arrived, three migrants had drowned trying to swim to the idle ship.
Read the rest of this feature at IEEE Spectrum: [html] [pdf].
This is my first piece of data visualization journalism in a long time. It was fun to work with the editors and illustrator to bring it together. It’s also great to cover a topic near to my heart and the part of my family that live in Mexico City. Someday I’d like to report more on the social side of Mexico’s water situation.
Meantime, I recommend checking out the print edition of Technology Review [pdf] to see the spread but there is also an online version for subscribers.