States across the country have started rethinking the use of solitary confinement. For inmates like Stephen Kirkley, one of the worst behaved inmates at the Maine State Prison, that means a transfer out of solitary to the prison’s mental health unit.
Christel Tribble says she wants to be on “American Idol,” or maybe even become a detective someday. But in Beecher Terrace — a housing project where around one in six people cycle in and out of prison every year — the odds seem stacked against her.
The federal prison population has grown by nearly 800 percent in the past 30 years, spurred in part by the increasing use of tougher sentences applied to nonviolent drug crimes. Now there’s a growing movement to scale it back.
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