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Rebecca McCray – There Are More Women in U.S. Jails Than Ever Before

An unusual thing happened last year: The number of people in U.S. prisons declined. After decades of exponential growth, both the state and federal prison populations dropped slightly, reflecting the steady embrace of policy reforms enacted over the last decade intended to curtail corrections costs. Yet as prison populations in many states have declined, the number of women in jails has skyrocketed. …

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Study reveals incarceration’s hidden wounds for African-American men

There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found. According to a commonly used model of stress and health, the experience of having a family member locked up does not have a significant …

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Claire Bernish – A Staggering 95% of All Inmates in America Have Never Received a Trial

In the Land of the Free, one-quarter of the entire planet’s prison population, some 2.2 million people, currently languish behind bars; yet, an astonishing number of them — around 2 million — have never been to trial. Indeed, these figures categorically debunk the notion the criminal justice system in the United States maintains any semblance of its formation’s original intent: …

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Private Prison Corporations Stand With Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has called, tepidly, for an end to mass incarceration, in vague terms, without policy details: “There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are far more likely to be stopped by the police and charged with crimes and given longer prison terms than their white counterparts,” Clinton said. “There is something wrong when trust between law enforcement and …

Can We Reduce Bias in Criminal Justice? – Jason Marsh

This article is the first in a series exploring the effects that unconscious racial biases have on the criminal justice system in the United States. While this article reports on evidence of those biases, subsequent essays will propose ways to mitigate their effects. Long before Officer Darren Wilson fired the shots that killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, questions of …