Cost of Incarceration

Any conversation with our wrongfully convicted clients opens your eyes to just how difficult reentry into society is after a period of incarceration. Of course, everyone’s story following incarceration is inherently different. Some have a large support network of family and friends; others struggle through reentry on their own. Some were incarcerated for decades and… Read More

How Does US Justice Stack Up? An International Comparison

As we near the end of the year, it seems like a good time to reflect, so I thought I’d examine how the United States compares to other countries in matters of policing and criminal justice. Unfortunately, an international comparison of criminal justice statistics shows just how far behind our country is. Police shootings: This… Read More

Police Violence Against Native Americans

With all our talk about police violence aimed at poor and minority communities, we have yet to talk about the group most likely to be killed by law enforcement: Native Americans. Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men and Native American women are sent to prison at six times the… Read More

Girls in the Justice System

                                After all of the interest in our recent post Too Many Women in Prison, let’s take a look at where the female over-incarceration problem often starts—girls in the justice system. While youth arrests are generally declining, the rates for… Read More

Too Many Women in Prison

We’ve talked here a lot about our nation’s mass incarceration problem, but I was surprised to learn that the fastest growing prison population in the United States is women. While over 80-90% of the U.S. prison population is male, the number of women in prison jumped 646% between 1980 and 2010, making women the fastest… Read More

Adolescent Brain Development

A court in Wisconsin recently ruled that two twelve-year-old girls who stabbed a friend nearly to death, in order to appease a fictional online horror character called Slender Man, should be tried as adults. If ever there was a crime that epitomizes a child doing a horribly stupid thing because her adolescent brain was not… Read More

Modern Day Debtors’ Prison

One of the many disturbing things that came to light after the Ferguson police shooting of Michael Brown was the City’s abuse of court fines and fees in order to create what is essentially a modern day debtors’ prison. This is a problem plaguing many cities, big and small, around the country: a prison-for-debt world… Read More

Mental Illness in Jail

Another tragic, senseless jail death—this one got no media attention because, let’s face it, the mainstream media doesn’t pay attention mental illness in jail. But Ken Hobson’s sad and easily avoidable death underscores the dire need for mental health screenings in jails. The forty-three year old died of dehydration after 16 days’ of incarceration at… Read More

Prison Legal News Sues for Info About Lucrative Prison Contracts

IL Dept. of Corrections on the Hot Seat for Allegedly Refusing FOIA Requests Chicago, IL – Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit today in the Circuit Court of Cook County against the Illinois Dept. of Corrections (IDOC), alleging violations of the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). PLN, a monthly news publication that reports… Read More