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An inmate reads a Bible in the exercise yard of Sacramento County's Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove, Calif. on May 30, 2013.

Presumed guilty: How prisons profit off the 'war on drugs'

08/14/13 12:45AM

Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled new policies on Monday to address the low-level, nonviolent offenses that he argued keep too many Americans locked away “for no truly good law enforcement reason." Drug laws and mandatory minimums have driven a 700% spike in the prison population over the past few decades, leading many states to literally run out of jails. The result is an unusual problem with a controversial solution. read more

Empty jury seats in a courtroom.

Unequal cuts threaten equal justice

08/06/13 08:45PM

The sequester is often described as an “across the board” spending cut--a term that implies shared sacrifice. For the criminal justice system, however, the cuts are one-sided. According to estimates from around the country, the sequester is hitting public defenders and courts far harder than prosecutors. read more

File Photo: Opponents of the New York Police Department's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy march on Friday in the Bronx borough of New York City January 27, 2012. The NYPD says the stops assist crime prevention while opponents say they involve...

Why is there no punishment for racial profiling?

07/30/13 10:45PM

In his unusual address about race relations after the George Zimmerman trial, President Obama recounted personal experiences when people thought he was dangerous, or a criminal, because of his skin color. He was describing a social form of racial profiling, of reactions to him based solely--instantaneously--on his race. The official practice, while widely condemned, actually remains legal under federal law and in about 25 states. read more