Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, front, after she signed a law that allows pay-for-success funding for projects aiming to reduce female incarceration rates.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
These partnerships between investors, governments and nonprofits are a new way to pay for programs and services that help people in need and address intractable problems like mass incarceration.
Black men occupy a disproportionate share of prison cells in the U.S.
Just as with so many other criminal justice policies, pretrial detention disproportionately affects African-American men and women, destabilizing black families in the process.
A Georgia penitentiary in 1911.
Library of Congress
Digitized state records help to tell the stories of African-American prisoners in the 19th and 20th century.
Families clashed with security forces outside the police station in Valencia, Venezuela, where nearly 70 prisoners died in a March 28 fire.
AP Photo/Juan Carlos Hernandez
After a fire killed 66 inmates at a Venezuelan jail in March, news stories portrayed the country's prisons as lawless. The real backstory of this deadly riot is more complex — and maybe a bit scarier.
Evidence from countries that execute people for drug offenses shows no relationship between harsh punishment and rates of drug use.
Just seven countries worldwide regularly execute people for drug crimes, most of them authoritarian regimes. Nothing suggests that this brutal policy actually curbs drug use.
Customers lining up to legally buy recreational marijuana in West Hollywood, Calif.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
The attorney general's memo portended an end to a hands-off approach to this enforcement conundrum. It could backfire.
Exercise equipment in a yard outside the East Block for condemned prisoners at San Quentin State Prison in California.
Mass incarceration harms the health of prisoners, their families and the people who work in detention centers.
Prison inmates in Santa Rosa, California.
A study of 100,000 convicted felons shows why rethinking parole may be the key to reversing mass incarceration.
Brazil’s jailhouse preachers may not explicitly condone violence against people of other faiths, but they’ve remained largely silent as their well-armed followers wage a holy war.
As hard-line Pentecostalism spreads across Brazil, some drug traffickers in gang-controlled areas of Rio de Janeiro are using religion as an excuse to attack nonbelievers.
Grounds of Hand Up Ministries in Oklahoma City houses sex offenders.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Beginning in the 1990s, all 50 US states and Washington, DC created public sex offender registries. Do they do more to help or hurt?
In El Salvador, the dead are almost innumerable, but not forgotten.
Latin America's murder rate is the highest in the world, accounting for one in every four homicides on the planet.
In the work of many rappers today, the legacy of Tupac Shakur lives on.
Tupac's sensitivity, intelligence and creativity confronted the hostile forces that antagonized black youth across the country in the 1970s and 1980s.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pushing for stricter sentencing in criminal cases.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Jeff Sessions wants prosecutors to 'charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.' That's a step back to our failed experiment in mass incarceration.
A glimpse behind bars.
Cropped from krystiano/flickr
The White House is pushing for more private prisons. But do the industry's promised benefits hold up to scrutiny?
The federal prison in Forrest City, Arkansas.
AP Photo/Danny Johnston
The number of prisons in the US swelled between 1970 and 2000, from 511 to nearly 1,663. Here's the story of why one town in Arkansas welcomed a correction facility.
Dozens of inmates escaped after multiple recent prison riots in Brazil.
In Brazilian prisons, overcrowding, corruption and gang infiltration are a combustive combination. But it all started with bad drug policies.
Inmate at San Quentin.
New research from Vanderbilt University looks at the effects of mass incarceration on a little studied population: formerly imprisoned African-American men.