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August 5, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

D.C. Jail and the challenge of criminal justice reform in the District

JUSTICE
– Prisoner rights advocates have long called for an overhaul of the D.C. Jail due to its terrible living conditions. Replacing the facility has proven a big challenge for the District, thanks in part to city’s complicated relationship with the federal government. (CP, 8/5)

A jaw-dropping June report from the Massachusetts-based Prison Policy Initiative identifies the District as the world’s top jailer, exceeding per-capita rates for all U.S. states and foreign countries. “The capital of the ‘free world’ has a higher incarceration rate than any U.S. state and any nation on the planet,” the report reads.

While the District has approved funding for a new jail, it has yet to produce any concrete plan. The inaction has forced local criminal justice experts to examine the broader context. In a network containing few inmate reentry programs, sparse mental health resources, and outdated drug sentencing rules, the D.C. Jail’s demise seems to represent a more complex tangle within the country’s most unique—and most complex—criminal justice system.

Body Camera Program For D.C. Police Gets Mixed Marks From Civil Rights Groups (WAMU, 8/3)

RACIAL EQUITY | According to an Urban Institute analysis of the absurdly popularly game, Pokemon Go’s Pokestops [Ed. note: whatever those are] are disproportionately concentrated in majority white neighborhoods. (CP, 8/2)

HEALTH | The recent community health needs assessment produced by a consortium of area hospitals and nonprofits identified mental and behavioral health services as being a critical need in D.C. Place-based care and care coordination were also identified as major needs. (WAMU, 8/2)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | A new report ranks D.C. among the top states nationally for policies that support families with newborns, thanks to its policies on paid sick leave and expanded unpaid family leave. Maryland and Virginia, meanwhile, ranked far lower. (WAMU, 8/3)

HOUSING | Can anyone afford to build affordable housing without public money? (GGW, 8/5)

EDUCATION | Proper Attire Required: Fairfax County Puts High Schoolers In Paid IT Internships (WAMU, 8/4)

ARTS | Remembering Zelda Fichandler, Matriarch Of American Regional Theater (WAMU, 8/4)


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