Pennsylvania Jail Tells Inmates: Stop Ordering Books

The Allegheny County Jail says its ban on print books from the outside, announced this week, was adopted for “security” reasons. Inmates will have to read new books on electronic tablets, but there are only 263 books, including 49 religious titles, available in the facility’s digital library.


Can Social Workers Replace Cops? One Experiment, From All Angles

Long before this year’s protests over police mishandling of mental health crisis calls, journalists began to examine CAHOOTS, a program in Eugene, Ore., that used community-based services as first responders in place of cops. You can read some of the most compelling accounts in the latest collection of stories about crime-reduction strategies archived by the Solutions Journalism Network.


Family Contact Comes at High Cost for Alaska Inmates During COVID-19

With family visits barred during the pandemic, relatives of Alaska prisoners pay high fees to stay in touch with their loved ones by phone. The state has offered some relief, but the monthly bill incurred through for-profit phone services can still run as high as $500.

traffic stop

The Risks of ‘Driving While Black’

An ABC News investigation of millions of traffic stops in major cities found that Black drivers or pedestrians were more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers or pedestrians.

Behind the Portland Protests: A Troubling Record of Police Killings

An Oregon news organization’s review of 40 fatal police shootings in the Portland area since 2003 found those killed were disproportionately Black. Half suffered from mental illness. And none of the 65 officers who pulled a trigger were indicted by a grand jury or ultimately disciplined.


Death in Prison: How Health Care Fails the Men and Women Behind Bars

Washington state journalist Levi Pulkkinen spent the past year digging into a subject many Americans have never given more than a passing thought: healthcare for people in prison. His three-part multimedia investigative series reveals a system where delays in health care may mean life or death for the men and women behind bars, but also has an outsized impact on the state budget.


‘I Can’t Cross-Examine with a Mask On’

The pandemic’s effect on courts is hitting hardest on defendants awaiting trial, as defense lawyers across the country struggle to explain to clients sitting in jail when they might get in front of a judge and jury. “How do you have a confidential communication with your client if you can’t get within six feet of them?” asks one.