The cost of a nation of incarceration (CBS News): “Nationwide, the numbers are staggering: Nearly 2.4 million people behind bars, even though over the last 20 years the crime rate has actually dropped by more than 40%.” Michael Jacobson, director of the Vera Institute of Justice, points out that the US has “about 5% of the world’s population, but we have 25% of the world’s prisoners.” A report from Vera, “The Price of Prisons, finds that the cost of incarcerating one inmate runs up to $60,000 per year in some states. Says Walter McNeil, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, “… the vast majority of the people in prison are going to return to prison unless we do something different.”
Poverty In America: Defining The New Poor (NPR: All Things Considered): New York Times reporter Jason DeParle “tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that 18 million Americans have had to apply for food aid since the economic crisis began [...] more Americans depend on food assistance now than at any other time in modern history: 1 in 6 people, or almost 50 million Americans [....] Food stamps have now replaced cash assistance as the most common form of welfare in America. Ten times more Americans receive food aid than those who get cash welfare.” Peter Edelman of the Georgetown Law Center, “When people went for help during the recession, they could get food stamps and it turned out they couldn’t get welfare [...] We have 6 million people in the country whose only income is food stamps.”
Arts Desk: Helen Hayes Awards (Washington City Paper): On Monday, theatreWashington hosted the 28th annual Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in DC-area professional theater. Catalogue nonprofit “Synetic Theater, ever the Helen Hayes favorite, walked away with a sturdy four awards for its silent King Lear, including for outstanding choreography and outstanding ensemble, resident play.” And Adventure Theatre, fresh off its merger with the Musical Theater Center, received awards both for outstanding director and production – theater for young audiences. Congratulations!