Couple sent to prison for harassing black child’s party with Confederate flags, guns

  • On Monday, a couple who waved Confederate flags, yelled racial slurs and pointed a gun at a group of children gathered for an 8-year-old’s birthday party were sentenced to prison by a Georgia judge, CNN reported.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the defendants “wept” as their sentences were handed down.
  • On July 25, 2015, Jose “Joe” Torres and Kayla Norton were part of a group of people who went on a “drunken rampage,” riding around in pickup trucks adorned with Confederate battle flags, the Journal-Constitution reported. 
  • And when they came upon a black child’s birthday party, they yelled racial slurs as they drove by, according to CNN’s witnesses. 
  • They parked and got out of their trucks — with weapons. They approached the kids’ party, where people were grilling, and children were playing in a bouncy castle and eating snow cones, according to the DA
  • Torres was reportedly part of a “smaller group” that threatened to kill people at the party — including the children, CNN reported.
  • Judge William McClain sentenced Torres to 20 years, 13 of them to be served in prison. Norton got 15 years, to serve six in prison. 
  • Upon their respective releases, both are to be permanently banned from Douglas County. Read more (2/28/17 11:32 AM)

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Rummu Prison was built in 1938 in the small Estonian town of Rummu. Built on the lip of a limestone quarry, the prisoners were forced to mine limestone. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Estonia regained its independence, the prison was abandoned. Some of the prison can still be seen today, however, much is completely underwater and is now a popular diving spot.


More than 650,000 prisoners are released every year in the U.S., but no federal agency tracks the unemployment rate for this population. Experts say low reading and technological literacy, as well as reluctance among employers to hire former convicts, means many drop out of the labor force altogether.

But there are a handful of novel initiatives trying to turn that narrative around, by bringing college education and professional training, and even entrepreneurship programs behind bars. Advocates of such programs say by teaching inmates at a higher level, they reduce financial and social costs to society.

One that gets a lot of attention is the Bard Prison Initiative.

College Classes In Maximum Security: ‘It Gives You Meaning’

Photos by Cameron Robert/NPR