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Articles on Incarceration

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Hobart from Old Wharf by John Skinner Prout, (1844). Allport Library and Museum, State Library of Tasmania

Thieves, needlewomen, Aboriginal warriors and a ten-year-old boy: the free people transported as convicts to Van Diemen’s Land

Along with British and Irish convicts, 627 free men, women and children were transported to the 19th-century penal colonies of Van Diemen’s Land. Their stories, mostly forgotten, are moving.
Inmate fire crews work alongside professional fire crews and do the same work. But they receive little, if any, pay. David McNew/AFP via Getty Images

Rural counties increasingly rely on prisons to provide firefighters and EMTs who work for free, but the inmates have little protection or future job prospects

Georgia’s inmate fire crews respond to hundreds of calls in surrounding counties every year. Without them, there might not be a responder, but they aren’t universally loved – and they don’t get paid.
According to the state’s new guidelines, juvenile convictions that are 10 years or older should no longer be considered when determining a person’s sentence. Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao via Getty Images

Pennsylvania overhauled its sentencing guidelines to be more fair and consistent − but racial disparities may not disappear so soon

The new guidelines are not intended to reduce punishment but aim to reduce disparities in punishment that are linked to race and ethnicity.
The Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont. A coroner’s inquest into Soleiman Faqiri’s death at the facility has seen graphic video and heard testimony about the brutal force used against him by corrections officers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Inquest into Soleiman Faqiri’s death at an Ontario ‘super jail’ reignites calls for reform

People with mental health challenges are more likely to die in custody. The coroner’s inquest into the death of Soleiman Faqiri in an Ontario jail is one such tragedy that calls out for reform.
Many women who are incarcerated were just trying to make ends meet for their families. Here an image from a rally to demand the release of people held in jails, outside the Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, May 2020. Joe Piette/Flickr

Mothers desperate to make ends meet sometimes end up behind bars

For Mother’s Day, we look at the fastest growing prison population in Canada — racialized women, many of whom are mothers. Experts connect the trend to rising poverty and the attempts to cope with it.
Only 15% of adults in prison have earned a postsecondary degree or certificate – either before or while being incarcerated. Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

As Second Chance Pell Grant program grows, more incarcerated people can get degrees – but there’s a difference between prison-run and college-run education behind bars

With the expansion of Second Chance Pell grants, more colleges and universities will soon offer degree programs to students in prison.

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