Laura Sullivan http://nhpr.org en Senate Democrats Aim To Overturn High Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling http://nhpr.org/post/senate-democrats-aim-overturn-high-courts-hobby-lobby-ruling Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. When the Supreme Court issued a major decision on contraception last month, Democrats started working on a way to nullify it. The court ruled in favor of the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, saying that some for-profit corporations may refuse to provide health coverage to pay for contraceptives if an employer has religious objections. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:23:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 52023 at http://nhpr.org From The Border To The Hill, Influx Of Immigrant Kids Draws Concern http://nhpr.org/post/border-hill-influx-immigrant-kids-draws-concern Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The issue of immigration has heated up in recent weeks - not just in Eric Cantor's campaign but also along the border. There is a flood of unaccompanied immigrant children attempting to cross into the United States. The numbers have skyrocketed since last year - swamping Boarder Patrol facilities. The White House says the children are fleeing rising violence in their Central American home countries. For their part, Republicans are eager to attack the administration's immigration policies. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 20:18:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 50070 at http://nhpr.org Life After 'Life': Aging Inmates Struggle For Redemption http://nhpr.org/post/life-after-life-aging-inmates-struggle-redemption Out in the empty plains of northeast Colorado two years ago, nine inmates line up against a wall inside the Sterling Correctional Facility. It's a line of green jumpsuits and gray hair.<p>The men, hobbling on canes, wait for the others to pull plastic chairs into a circle so class can begin. Today's instruction is about what life is like on the outside: how to use an ATM, how to find a job, what the Internet is.<p>These men have been in prison for two, three or four decades. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:34:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 49700 at http://nhpr.org Life After 'Life': Aging Inmates Struggle For Redemption Rep. Murphy Aims For Mental Health Bill To Pass Before Next Shooting http://nhpr.org/post/rep-murphy-aims-mental-health-bill-pass-next-shooting Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. The mass shooting in California last weekend has lawmakers on Capitol Hill talking again about overhauling the nation's mental health system. In recent months the issue has seemed to have been placed firmly on a back burner but yesterday psychologists and family members of those with mental illness urged Congress to do more. Fri, 30 May 2014 09:11:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 49416 at http://nhpr.org Library Of Congress Searches For Missing Jefferson Books http://nhpr.org/post/library-congress-searches-missing-jefferson-books Staffers at the Library of Congress have been looking for 250 books that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. He gave these books and several thousand more to start the library more than 200 years ago. Thu, 29 May 2014 09:16:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 49353 at http://nhpr.org The Executioner's Lament http://nhpr.org/post/executioners-lament In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.<p>The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Thu, 08 May 2014 07:22:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 48122 at http://nhpr.org The Executioner's Lament Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky http://nhpr.org/post/enforcing-prison-rape-elimination-standards-proves-tricky On a recent day at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, inmates in jumpsuits peek out of their cells to see three men with clipboards walk into the housing unit. These men are auditors doing a practice inspection. They're here to see if the facility complies with a federal law called the <a href="http://ojp.gov/programs/prisonrapeelimination.htm" target="_blank">Prison Rape Elimination Act</a>, or PREA.<p>Auditors Steven Cubello and Howard Ray start at a line of phones. There's no sign with the toll-free hotline that inmates can use to report an assault. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 46085 at http://nhpr.org Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller http://nhpr.org/post/lawmakers-seek-lay-roadblock-powerful-painkiller Sen. Joe Manchin is introducing a bill to force the Food and Drug Administration to ban potent new painkiller Zohydro, backed by a bipartisan effort to get the FDA to remove its approval of the drug. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 45098 at http://nhpr.org Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions http://nhpr.org/post/governments-empty-buildings-are-costing-taxpayers-billions On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.<p>Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-645" target="_blank">why the government owns so many buildings</a>, like this one, that it doesn't use.<p>The 132-year-old brick structure is sitting on prime real estate six blocks from the White House. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 44975 at http://nhpr.org Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions Critics Question FDA's Approval Of Zohydro http://nhpr.org/post/critics-question-fdas-approval-zohydro Prominent universities and drug addiction organizations are asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of a controversial painkiller called Zohydro. It's 10 times more powerful than OxyContin. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 44163 at http://nhpr.org Missouri Execution Stalled Over Lethal Drugs In Short Supply http://nhpr.org/post/missouri-execution-stalled-over-lethal-drugs-short-supply A few years ago, Missouri, like other states, was having trouble finding lethal execution drugs. Europe was balking, and U.S. drug manufacturers didn't want a part of it.<p>So Missouri turned to a place called a compounding pharmacy to make up the needed drugs based on the ingredients. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:42:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 43774 at http://nhpr.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads http://nhpr.org/post/spike-heroin-use-can-be-traced-prescription-pads The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought attention to a grim reality of drug abuse in America — most notably with the increasing use of heroin.<p>Hoffman was found dead in his apartment on Sunday, and New York police are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.<p>This is not the first time heroin use has skyrocketed in the United States. In the 1970s and '80s, the drug took hold in urban centers. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:12:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 43007 at http://nhpr.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA http://nhpr.org/post/exonerations-rise-and-not-just-because-dna 2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations.<p>At least 87 people were set free for crimes they did not commit last year, the highest number since researchers began keeping track more than 20 years ago. Some of those people spent decades in prison before release.<p>And it's no longer just DNA evidence that's driving exonerations, <a href="http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/Exonerations_in_2013_Report.pdf" target="_blank">the registry's report</a> finds. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 08:46:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42944 at http://nhpr.org Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA As States Close Prisons And Cut Crime, Feds Lag Behind http://nhpr.org/post/states-close-prisons-and-cut-crime-feds-lag-behind State prison populations are declining for the first time in four decades. But at the federal level, incarceration rates are going in the opposite direction.<p>The federal Bureau of Prisons is on track to swallow a third of the Justice Department's budget by 2020, according to a <a href="http://www.urban.org/publications/412932.html" target="_blank">report by the nonpartisan Urban Institute</a>.<p>"That is at great expense to other fiscal priorities," says Nancy La Vigne, director of the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42749 at http://nhpr.org As States Close Prisons And Cut Crime, Feds Lag Behind Why Small Town Mayors Face Multiple Disadvantages http://nhpr.org/post/why-small-town-mayors-face-multiple-disadvantages Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Hundreds of mayors converged on Washington, D.C. this week for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. There were some big names in the group: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Bill de Blassio. Also in the mix were mayors from some of the country's smallest towns and cities. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:57:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42359 at http://nhpr.org