The Takeaway

American Jails: A 'Desperate' Netherworld

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recent investigations have found myriad problems on Rikers Island, the biggest jail complex in New York City. A former corrections commissioner has ideas for lasting change on Rikers.

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NYC Jail Guards Use of Force a Record in 2014

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Correction officers reported using force 4,074 times last year, including 406 incidents in September alone.



City Bans Solitary Confinement for Those Under 21 at Rikers

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

De Blasio administration eases off on young offenders, while imposing a controversial measure for violent inmates.

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Mayor Signs Bill Tracking Solitary in NYC Jails

Friday, August 29, 2014

The mayor has signed a bill requiring New York City correction officials to track and publish information on the use of solitary confinement.



Why Inmates Can't Afford to Make Calls from Jails in New Jersey

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Jail inmates in New Jersey pay almost 8 times as much for phone calls home than those in New York. We find out why. 

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The Takeaway

The Return of the Electric Chair?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tennessee's governor has signed a bill into law allowing the state to bring back the electric chair. With lethal injection becoming increasingly problematic, other states may go the same way.


The Takeaway

Should We Give Prisoners a College Education?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Research suggests that inmates who participated in prison college programs  are 43 percent less likely to return to a life of crime. But the idea of giving prisoners a college education remains unpopular.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Waiting For Trial in NY

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Robert Lewis, WNYC investigative reporter talks about lengthy pre-trial detentions and why so many languish in jail because they can't make bail.


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The Takeaway

'Herman's House': The Dreams of a Man in Solitary Confinement for 40 Years

Monday, July 08, 2013

Artist Jackie Sumell was outraged when she learned that a Louisiana state prisoner named Herman Wallace has lived in solitary confinement 23 hours a day for more than 40 years now. He is believed to be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States. Angad Balla's documentary airing tonight on PBS, "Herman's House," follows Jackie as she raises awareness of long-term solitary confinement through art.

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