An officer is reflected in the glass as inmates sit in the county jail on July 26, 2013 in Williston, North Dakota.

An officer is reflected in the glass as inmates sit in the county jail on July 26, 2013 in Williston, North Dakota.

While convicted criminals are usually sent to do their time in prisons, U.S. jails are typically for those awaiting trial, and those who have been deemed dangerous or a flight risk. But according to a new report, U.S. jails have today become overcrowded warehouses for vulnerable members of society. Many are too poor to post bail, or are suffering from mental illness or addiction. Nearly 75 percent of those in jail are there for non-violent crimes, some as minor as traffic violations. Now there are new calls to re-think who we put in our jails, and how long we keep them there. A conversation about reforming our local criminal justice systems.

Guests

  • Bill Keller Editor-in-chief, The Marshall Project. Former executive editor of The New York Times.
  • Laurie Garduque Director of justice reform, The MacArthur Foundation. Serves on the Federal Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
  • Cliff Keenan Director, Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia.

What Do Jails Look Like In America?

Click on the image to view this Vera Institute of Justice infographic in a larger window.

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