Laura Sullivan http://nhpr.org en 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 Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents http://nhpr.org/post/long-dirty-word-gentrification-may-be-losing-its-stigma Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.<p>"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."<p>Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 08:43:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42219 at http://nhpr.org Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help http://nhpr.org/post/mentally-ill-inmates-often-locked-jails-cant-help Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart walks the halls of his jail every day. With 10,000 inmates, this place is a small city — except a third of the people here are mentally ill.<p>Dart has created some of the most innovative programs in the country to handle mentally ill inmates, hiring doctors and psychologists, and training staff. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:37:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42153 at http://nhpr.org Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label http://nhpr.org/post/police-banks-help-undocumented-workers-shake-walking-atm-label On a recent Friday evening in Langley Park, Md., police officer Juan Damian drives his patrol car past fast food restaurants, discount stores and Hispanic groceries.<p>Damian estimates that at least two-thirds of the people here are undocumented, and that has made it a magnet for robberies over the years. Gangs know undocumented day workers are especially lucrative targets, he says. Their pockets are often stuffed with a day's or even a week's worth of wages. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:27:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 42120 at http://nhpr.org Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back http://nhpr.org/post/night-rock-former-alcatraz-inmate-journeys-back For 29 years, Alcatraz — the notorious prison off the coast of San Francisco — housed some of the nation's worst criminals: Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Birdman Robert Stroud.<p>Today, 50 years after it closed, it's a museum. And earlier this year, the National Park Service gave Bill Baker, a former inmate, special permission to stay the night in his old cell. He was 24 when he was transferred to The Rock. Today, he's 80.<p>Baker, who was born in Kentucky during the Great Depression, has spent a lot of his life in and out of federal prison. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:21:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 36728 at http://nhpr.org A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back New Details Emerge On Woman Shot After Capitol Hill Car Chase http://nhpr.org/post/new-details-emerge-woman-shot-after-capitol-hill-car-chase Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>We're learning more about the woman who led police on a chase through the District of Columbia yesterday. The car chase ended with a shootout that left the woman, Miriam Carey, dead. Carey's family positively identified her body this afternoon. And to learn more about her background, we're joined by NPR's Laura Sullivan. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 36224 at http://nhpr.org South Dakota Officials Miss Historic Meeting With Tribes http://nhpr.org/post/south-dakota-officials-absent-historic-meeting-sioux-tribes Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>Federal officials met with South Dakota's nine Sioux tribes yesterday. They were beginning a three-day summit in Rapid City. This meeting has been a year in the making. It's an effort to address long-standing concerns over the high number of Native American children that the state places in non-Native foster homes. Families testified about alleged violations by South Dakota under the Indian Child Welfare Act. Thu, 16 May 2013 08:24:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 27582 at http://nhpr.org