Today there are two million inmates in US prisons and jails, and according to social policy analyst Eric Cadora our overdependence on criminal justice is threatening our cities, communities, and neighborhoods.
The US is the only Western democracy that still sentences youthful offenders to life in prison without parole for serious crimes. But there is growing resistance to that.
Some say that without safeguards it is a slippery slope on the road to genetic surveillance. Others are convinced it will bring many more criminals to justice.
In Memphis, fugitives are turning themselves in at local churches as part of a two-year old Justice Department program called Fugitive Safe Surrender.
In many states around the country there are new, tough laws aimed at sexual predators who have abused children. No one opposes the intent to protect children, but in Georgia its new sex offender law is under attack by civil rights and religious activists who say the law is so broad and so harsh it is unfair. More