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Aug 10, 2015 When mothers who act as primary caregivers serve time in prison, the loss of emotional and tangible support they provide—in the form of regular caretaking, income, housing, and more—can have a traumatic and disruptive impact on their families and communities. In recent years, this impact has garnered the attention of policymakers locally and nationwide,...
Aug 4, 2015 Last year, attention surrounding unaccompanied youth reached a fevered pitch. Traveling alone and often fleeing escalating violence in their home countries, unaccompanied youth—undocumented minors under the age of 18 who are in the United States without a parent or legal guardian to provide them with care or custody—became front page news. By the end of the fiscal year,...
Jul 27, 2015 Becky missed school to visit her childhood home with her mother, whose memory was fading due to a degenerative brain disease. Megan missed school because she was put on doctor-ordered bed rest due to pregnancy and delivery complications. Luke was tardy to several periods because he was taking long routes to class to avoid a group of kids who were bullying him because of his sexual orientation. Becky, Megan, and Luke were all charged with Failure to Attend...
Jul 9, 2015 I recently visited a facility in California where I was told about a girl in custody who staff described as a troublemaker, refusing orders to sit down or cooperate with staff in any way. She was on the verge of being charged with new crimes in the facility for fighting with staff—charges that would likely have resulted in more severe punishment than her original offense.   But that week her facility happened to be piloting the only evidence-based health...
Jul 7, 2015 After decades of mass incarceration, policymakers around the country are realizing the unintended consequences of using the criminal justice system to deal with the social and public health problems of homelessness, drug use, mental illness, and poverty. Despite the advances of criminal justice reform, however, there are increasing efforts to criminalize pregnant women who are at risk for negative birth outcomes, particularly targeting women who use drugs...
Jun 19, 2015 No country incarcerates more women than the United States. Although American women comprise just five percent of the total global female population, we represent nearly a third of the world’s female prisoners—a rate that outstrips even America’s unprecedented incarceration of men.   Shocking as that may be, our drive to incarcerate doesn...

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