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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Home health, hospice nurses in OR call for union contract agreement; MS ranks low among states for long-term care services, supports; and a look at how adopting children changed the lives of two Texas women.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly tells investigators more details about efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley wins the endorsement of a powerful Koch brothers' network and a Senate committee targets judicial activists known to lavish gifts upon Supreme Court justices.

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Congress has iced the long-awaited Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents speak out about a planned road through Alaska's Brooks Range a dream destination for hunters and angler.

Report: Minorities make up NC prison population majority

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Monday, October 23, 2023   

A new study of incarceration trends shows people who are Black or Native American make up more than half of North Carolina's prison population.

The Prison Policy Initiative research finds disparities in the criminal justice system haven't changed in the last decade, despite debates about addressing mass incarceration.

Wanda Bertram, communications strategist for the group, said decisions at a local level often dictate what happens.

"It has a lot to do with how policing works, and how courts work, and also, in a big way, how social services work," Bertram outlined. "What social services are and are not being provided to people in these lower-income neighborhoods where often, health care is harder to access, and schools are much worse."

She noted the research showed members of minority populations also spend more time in prison due to disproportionate sentencing and bail amounts. Every year in North Carolina, at least 128,000 people are booked into local jails.

The report suggested North Carolina's pretrial policies have driven prison population growth over the last 40 years. According to the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, about 65% of people in jail are awaiting trial, many because they can't pay the bond required for their release.

Bertram argued the economic divide ensures lower-income people will continue to face disparities. The report offers potential solutions to counter the trends.

"Those things include getting people off of parole, supervision and probation supervision; strict supervision that's going to make it more likely that they end up behind bars for just a minor slip-up," Bertram explained. "It includes reforms to the war on drugs, which is still very active in many places."

She added other important considerations are community involvement, improved health care and public education as methods to lessen imprisonment and counteract racial bias.



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By some estimates, more than 15 million people covered through the ACA exchanges nationally, and 20 million insured by the Medicaid expansion would lose coverage if the Affordable Care Act was repealed. (Fizkes/Adobe Stock)

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