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a legal scholar once quipped that the limits to prison population are not absolute, but “like the elastic on underwear: slightly more uncomfortable with each expansion.” That assessment, made when America housed 60 percent fewer prisoners, now seems optimistic. In 2006, federal prisons were 37 percent over capacity while some state systems bulged with more than double their intended numbers. Packing in too many inmates can spread disease and spur violence and suicide. The dangers are hardly a new revelation. One of the main gripes of inmates who rioted at Attica in 1971, leaving 43 people dead: The prison was 40 percent overbooked.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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