Earlier this year, I worked with several allies on a report about prison overcrowding in West Virginia. We were hoping that the report might nudge the WV legislature into passing a pretty decent bill to begin addressing the problem.
Things looked pretty good until everything fell apart on the last day of the session. As a fallback, state leaders contacted the Justice Center of the Council of State Governments to study WV's system and make suggestions for addressing the problem. Some of those were released yesterday (and echo some of the points we made in our report).
The Justice Center has done similar work in other states, including some very conservative ones, so maybe their work can help provide political cover for state politicians to finally take action on this issue. It's all about reducing mass incarceration and saving money without compromising public safety. Here's hoping we can move this along.
On the same subject, here's an op-ed by my friend the Rev. Matthew Watts on mass incarceration and how it impacts the African-American community.
CALLING BS. Here's Media Matters for America on the whole "war on coal" thing.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED