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Articles on Incarceration

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In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with his brother Tamerlan, put bombs along the Boston Marathon route, killing and injuring many. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Death penalty can express society’s outrage – but biases often taint the verdict

Punishment for crimes allows a society to express its values, but a theorist of criminal law and punishment argues it could also reinforce prejudicial stereotypes about racial and ethnic groups.
While prison may isolate people from the larger community, it does not isolate them from COVID-19. Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images News

Correctional officers are driving the pandemic in prisons

New research shows correctional officers are vectors of infection, driving COVID-19 rates both inside prisons and in their communities.
A Texas woman shows a picture of her 21-year-old son, who has been incarcerated during the pandemic. AP Photo/LM Otero

No visits and barely any calls – pandemic makes separation even scarier for people with a family member in prison

For the 6.5 million Americans who have an incarcerated family member, COVID-19 has made an already stressful situation much worse by drastically limiting communication and raising fears of death.
University study programs in prisons can increase inmates’ chances of success after release. (Shutterstock)

Pi Day: Celebrating the life-changing role of math programs in prisons

Christopher Havens is a prison inmate serving time for murder. He’s also a mathematics whiz who’s advocating for more math in prison as a way to improve the chances of prisoners after release.
Dade Correctional Institution where mentally ill prisoner Darren Rainey was locked in a shower stall and died in June 2012. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

People are dying in US prisons, and not just from COVID-19

Violence in the criminal-justice system isn’t limited to police. It’s time to pay more attention to violent deaths within state prisons.
Throughout the course of history, it’s usually been politics — not compassion — that’s resulted in prison releases of the type we’ve seen during COVID-19. (Piqsels)

How politics have played a big role in the release of prisoners

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to think critically about the place of prisons in society and how and why prisoners have been released in the past. COVID-19 could spark systemic change.
Oliger Merko, ‘Season of Love’ detail, oil on canvas, 2014. Prison Creative Arts Project

What we can learn about isolation from prison artists

In a system that treats people as objects to be counted, chained, searched and assigned a number, art is a way for prisoners to reassert their agency – and reclaim their lives.

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