15 Stories

Number of Jailed Women Skyrockets in Rural Counties

The female jail population in small counties has nearly doubled since 2000

(Newser) - The number of women locked up in jails around the country is increasing at a level not matched by the male jail population, according to a report released by the MacArthur Foundation and Vera Institute. The Guardian reports there were 14 times more women in US jails in 2014 than... More »

5 Million US Children Have Had Incarcerated Parent

And that's hurting them, according to a new report

(Newser) - One in 14 children have had at least one parent incarcerated during their life—a percentage that's even higher for poor children and black children—and that's having a negative impact on their lives, USA Today reports The statistics come from a report— Parents Behind Bars: What Happens ... More »

After 36 Years in Jail, Man's Charges Dropped

Michael Hanline longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate in Cali: nonprofit

(Newser) - A California man freed after serving 34 years of a life sentence for murder had the charges formally dismissed yesterday. Michael Hanline, 69, was the longest-serving wrongfully incarcerated inmate in California history, according to the California Innocence Project, whose lawyers worked for 15 years to free him. A Ventura County... More »

Poverty, Mental Illness Abound in Broken Jail System: Report

Inmates face longer time because they can't pay bail, analysts find

(Newser) - It's not just federal and state prisons that need scrutiny: The country's local and county jails are being "misused," and it's time for reform, a new report finds. Those held in the facilities are typically there for minor infractions, and over the past three decades,... More »

A New Explanation for Our Huge Prison Population

It's not just the war on drugs, says law professor John Pfaff

(Newser) - The US prison population hit a record 1.62 million in 2009, and there's a widely accepted explanation for that: the war on drugs. But law professor John Pfaff is proposing a very different explanation, and he explains it in an interview with Leon Neyfakh at Slate . Only 17%... More »

Pope Francis: Let's Abolish Life Sentences

They are nothing more than a 'hidden death penalty,' he says

(Newser) - That Pope Francis spoke out today against capital punishment is no big surprise. But he made headlines by coming out against life sentences as well, reports the Guardian . In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law, the pope urged all "people of good will" to fight for... More »

America's Prisoners Cost You $260 a Year

Mandatory minimums, repeat-offender laws spiking prison numbers: report

(Newser) - A new report from a branch of the Brookings Institution notes that the US spent $80 billion on incarceration in 2010, an expense that translates into each American paying $260 per year to house our criminals. That's up from $77 per US resident in 1980, reports CBS News . With... More »

NYC Inmates Cost Nearly $168K Per Year

That's almost as much as four years of Ivy League tuition

(Newser) - In New York, the annual cost of one inmate is almost as much as four years of Ivy League tuition: $167,731. That's $460 per day for an average of 12,287 prisoners, and it's quite a bit higher than what other big cities spend: $47,063 a... More »

Illinois to Inmate: You Owe Us $455K for Jail Stay...

So we'd like that $11K you earned in prison

(Newser) - Since being jailed in 1982, Kensley Hawkins has saved $11,000 from working while behind bars. Now the state of Illinois wants that money—it's suing Hawkins to cover the cost of his prison stay, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to Illinois law, the state can start collection procedures against... More »

Here's Our Real Prison Problem

Nobody knows what jails are supposed to do

(Newser) - America is incarcerating more people than ever, and more states are turning to private prisons to lock them up. Trying to figure out whether these private facilities are worth it raises a more fundamental question for Andrew Price: "What is the service that prisons are supposed to deliver?" he... More »

At 'Felony Franks,' Ex-Cons Serve Dogs to Wary Populace

Chicago food stand under fire for name trumpeting workers' checkered pasts

(Newser) - A snarkily named hot dog stand has its up-and-coming Chicago neighborhood sizzling. Felony Franks employs ex-cons to sling hot dogs with names like the “Misdemeanor Wiener” and the “Cellmate” (two dogs). Step up to the bulletproof serving window and an employee will ask you to “plead your... More »

Record 10% of US Convicts Serving Life

(Newser) - Almost 10% of prisoners incarcerated in the US are serving life sentences, an all-time high, the New York Times reports. In California, which maintains the nation’s highest prison population, that number is 20%, says a report from the Sentencing Project, a group that wants to eliminate life-without-parole sentences. Two-thirds... More »

Blacks Still Unequal in US: Report

African-Americans remain less employed, more often imprisoned than whites

(Newser) - Though a black family occupies the White House, inequality between African-Americans and whites persists in the US, a study by the Urban League says. Blacks are twice as likely to be jobless, three times more likely to be poor, six times more likely to have spent time in prison. A... More »

Khloe Spends 173 Minutes in Slammer

3-hour stint related to parole violation following DUI arrest last year

(Newser) - Reality TV starlet Khloe Kardashian is free today after spending 173 minutes in a California jail for a parole violation, Us Weekly reports. For those keeping track, her stay was more than twice as long as Nicole Richie’s last year at the same detention facility. More »

Record 2.3M Crowd US Prisons

Federal report describes system in crisis

(Newser) - A record 7.2 million criminals were behind bars, on parole, or being supervised on probation in 2006—a figure that cost taxpayers $45 billion and has states rethinking sentencing laws and shipping inmates elsewhere, the Washington Post reports. Of that number, 2.3 million people were in jail or... More »

15 Stories