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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.

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White, Rural Counties Become New US Incarceration Leaders

Prison admissions of offenders from big cities have declined sharply over the past decade–by 36 percent in Indianapolis, 37 percent in Brooklyn, 69 percent in Los Angeles County, and 93 percent in San Francisco. The reverse is true many less populous places. A New York Times analysis shows people in small counties are about 50 percent more likely to go to prison than city dwellers, raising questions about equal protection.

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‘The Worst Way to Address Mental Illness’

More than 350,000 people with severe psychiatric conditions are currently languishing in the nation’s jails and prisons. Could early intervention have prevented them from landing behind bars?

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How Prisons Trap the Mentally Ill

Our country’s jails and prisons house 356,000 people with serious mental illnesses. Most would be better off outside—if there were sufficient funds for mental health treatment programs.

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‘Locked Up and Shipped Away’

The number of inmates transferred to private prisons outside their home states decreased by about 3,000 between 2013 and 2015, but for-profit prisons continue to delay prison reform, according to a report published by the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership.

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Despite High Profile CA Jail Break, Inmate Escapes Are Getting Rarer

Orange County, Ca., Sheriff's officials said they were “extremely troubled” that it took at least 16 hours for deputies to realize three inmates had escaped last week, as new details emerged about the lengths the trio went to break out of the high-security lockup, the Los Angeles Times reports. With the inmates now at large for five days, the jail has come under intense scrutiny for several policies that some believe may have made the escape easier. Jail personnel conduct […]

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MN Incarceration Rate Spikes, State Runs Out Of Room For New Inmates

Minnesota is running out of places to put its prisoners. With inmate ranks at the state's 10 prisons swollen beyond capacity, the Department of Corrections planned to seek $141 million this year to add space for 500 more prisoners at its Rush City facility. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says Gov. Mark Dayton left the project out of his bonding proposal, effectively killing it, at least for now, and instead offered a more modest $8.5 million plan that would house less […]