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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

New report details harsh realities of women in jail, prison

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Monday, March 18, 2024   

Women are treated much differently than men by the criminal justice system, according to a new report detailing how and why mass incarceration is harmful to women in the U.S.

The report said nationwide, more than 190,000 women are behind bars, with the vast majority serving time in local jails.

Mike Wessler, communications director for the Prison Policy Initiative, said it includes about 29,000 women in Mississippi. He argued the system is particularly harsh toward women. One major challenge is receiving sufficient medical care.

"Women are frequently overdosed behind bars; they may have consumed drugs or alcohol at high level before they came to jail," Wessler noted. "And when they're there, the jails don't have the capacity to treat them. So, they often overdose or they detox without any assistance, and it costs them their lives."

Wessler pointed out about 82% of women who are entangled in the legal system are on probation or parole. The other 18% are in jail or prison. The Magnolia State has one of the higher incarceration rates, with more than 1,000 people per 100,000 residents behind bars.

Wessler emphasized around 58% of women who are incarcerated have minor children. Their families often cannot afford cash bail, which is one reason they are trapped in the legal system. Worse yet, he added, the women are typically the primary caregivers for their kids, which may cause their parental rights to be at risk.

"If you can't afford that, you're going to sit in jail until trial, and that can be months and months at a time, in which time you're likely to lose your job, lose your housing, lose custody of your children," Wessler outlined. "Women who are incarcerated don't make enough money to often pay that bail. The average bail in this country is about one year's salary for an incarcerated woman."

The report also echoed concerns about the stark racial disparities in locking people up. It said in Mississippi, white people are incarcerated at a rate of 386 per 100,000 residents. For Black people, the rate is 960.


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