Incarceration

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With rising numbers of Granite Staters incarcerated, and ever-present budget constraints, some argue that it’s time to reform our approach to crime and punishment. But balancing innovation with public safety remains a concern. We’ll look at that latest thinking about some of the ideas out there- from alternative sentencing to rehabilitation.

GUESTS:

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Hear the phrase “Girl Scout meeting”, and you may think merit badges, social service projects – cookies, perhaps? Well, for a few girls in the Granite State, a scout meeting is one of the few times they get to see their incarcerated mothers. NHPR correspondent Melanie Plenda reported from Goffstown Womens’ Prison on the program, called Girl Scouts Beyond Bars.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in two murder cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There are currently 79 people serving such life terms for crimes committed when they were 14 or younger.

We hear a lot about juvenile offenders when they commit a crime — and again, when they're sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison. But not much is known about what happens after the prison gates slam shut.