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When the Wrong Prisoners Go Free, Who’s to Blame?

Three inmates whose life sentences were commuted in Washington state separately went on to commit crimes after their release. The incidents should have prodded officials to tackle the structural justice reforms that would prevent them from recurring, writes an inmate in one of the state’s correctional institutions.

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Jail Populations Keep Falling, Down 11.2% in 8 Years

The percentage of U.S. residents in jail dropped 3.4 percent from midyear 2012 to midyear 2016, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. County and city jails held 740,700 inmates at midyear 2016, far below the peak of 785,500 in 2008.

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In Natural Disasters, Are Inmates Expendable?

Prisoner rights advocates say the safety of inmates in areas threatened by climate change is dangerously low on the priorities of disaster planners. Exhibit A, they argue, are the thousands of prisoners in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico who were among the victims of this fall’s devastating hurricanes.

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America’s Expensive Prisons

Does shrinking the size of prison populations save taxpayers money? Not always, says a study released May 23 by the Vera Institute of Justice. The study found that 25 states increased their spending on prisons even though the nation’s overall prison population has declined.