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There have, and there's a very nice comprehensive article at Smithsonian.com detailing literal files in cakes and other escape tools: The earliest case I found was recorded in an 1804 compendium of criminal behavior—and it’s an instance of successful use of cake as a means of securing freedom, albeit in a backhanded way. William Blewitt was a gang member ...


49

According to The Iniquity of Leasing Convict Labor Engineering Magazine September 1891, pages 749-757: The convict lease system exists in all the Southern States, with the exception of Maryland and Delaware. ... composed almost wholly of the freedmen fresh from slavery and the tremendous and, to them, wonderful results of the greatest civil war in ...


27

As the image states, the data comes from the LA Daily News, specifically this article Last week, this news organization reported the cost of keeping an inmate in a California state prison hit the astronomical figure of $70,810 per year. That’s each! It’s also $8,333 more [$62,477] than it would cost to send an inmate to Stanford University. And if we ...


26

The word "many" here, being part of the OP's question title, is important, and the relative numbers as reported by DavePHD in his answer already addresses this part of the question. As to the whole statement, I would argue that, with "many" being understood as a relative word, the ACLU's statement is "a fair assessment of the historical records." The core ...


10

Giacomo Casanova, the famous 18th Century adventurer, made use of a metal spike hidden in a plate of pasta as part of his 1757 escape from the Doge's palace in Venice. Overcoming his inertia, Casanova set upon another escape plan. He solicited the help of the prisoner in the adjacent cell, Father Balbi, a renegade priest. The spike, carried to the new ...


6

In the bold portion above, the ACLU claims that "convict leasing" was done immediately after the civil war, was used to target and enslave black Americans, and was prevalent. Is this a fair assessment of the historical records? First off, I'm not sure how to quantify "prevalent." Did it happen? Yes. Here are some details for two states, Mississippi and ...


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