Laura Sullivan http://wutc.org en Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky http://wutc.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 35652 at http://wutc.org Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller http://wutc.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 34809 at http://wutc.org Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions http://wutc.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 20:12:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 34723 at http://wutc.org Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions Missouri Execution Stalled Over Lethal Drugs In Short Supply http://wutc.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 23:54:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 33830 at http://wutc.org To Rent Or Buy? For The Federal Government, It's Complicated http://wutc.org/post/rent-or-buy-federal-government-its-complicated The Bureau of Indian Affairs has been in the hot seat in recent weeks for mishandling the leases for some of its office space. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 08:37:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 33560 at http://wutc.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads http://wutc.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 33265 at http://wutc.org Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA http://wutc.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 33222 at http://wutc.org Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents http://wutc.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 32709 at http://wutc.org Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help http://wutc.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 21:55:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 32658 at http://wutc.org Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label http://wutc.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 32646 at http://wutc.org Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back http://wutc.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 28699 at http://wutc.org A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back Older Suspect Described As Controlling, Manipulative http://wutc.org/post/older-suspect-described-controlling-manipulative Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Big cheers in Watertown, Massachusetts, tonight and this tweet from the Boston Police Department, captured with three exclamation points, the hunt is over, the search is done, the terror is over, and justice has won, suspect in custody. We've been gathering a lot of information all day on the bombing suspects' backgrounds. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 00:58:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 20766 at http://wutc.org Without Reviews, Inmates Can Get Lost In U.S. Prison System http://wutc.org/post/without-reviews-inmates-can-get-lost-us-prison-system Every year 10 million people funnel in and out of America's jails and prisons. And every year some of them get lost. Recently there have been two high-profile cases of such inmates — one who got out years too early, and one who stayed years too long. Both had disastrous consequences.<p>In January, Evan Ebel walked out of a Colorado prison four years too early. Two months later, he allegedly rang the doorbell of Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, shot him in the chest and killed him. Fri, 05 Apr 2013 08:09:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 20155 at http://wutc.org Without Reviews, Inmates Can Get Lost In U.S. Prison System Tribal Coalition Report Finds South Dakota 'Willfully' Violated Child Welfare Law http://wutc.org/post/tribal-coalition-report-finds-south-dakota-willfully-violated-child-welfare-law South Dakota's foster care system "systematically violated the spirit and the letter" of a law meant to protect Native American children, a coalition of tribal directors from the state's nine Sioux tribes said in a report released Thursday night. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 23:44:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 15153 at http://wutc.org Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home http://wutc.org/post/fans-save-luke-skywalkers-tunisia-home Mark Dermul is a serious <em>Star Wars</em> fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.<p>"It hasn't left me," he says. At 42, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.<p>On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine — OK, Tunisia — he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was decaying. Sun, 01 Jul 2012 17:50:00 +0000 Laura Sullivan 8390 at http://wutc.org Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home