The Prison Rape Elimination Act standards are now taking effect in many states. Three auditors recently questioned staffers at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in a practice inspection. Laura Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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Enforcing Prison Rape Elimination Standards Proves Tricky

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Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller

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A 132-year-old building owned by the federal government, just six blocks from the White House, has been sitting empty for three decades. Laura Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions

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Critics Question FDA's Approval Of Zohydro

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Michael Taylor is scheduled to be executed Feb. 26 for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, but the state is having trouble finding the necessary drugs. AP/Missouri Correctional Office hide caption

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Missouri Execution Stalled Over Lethal Drugs In Short Supply

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To Rent Or Buy? For The Federal Government, It's Complicated

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Experts say today's heroin problem can be traced back to the aggressive prescribing of opioid drugs like OxyContin about 15 years ago. Toby Talbot/AP hide caption

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Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads

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David Ranta speaks with reporters after being freed by a judge in March 2013. Ranta spent more than two decades in prison before a reinvestigation of his case cast serious doubt on evidence used to convict him in the shooting of a Brooklyn rabbi. Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

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Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA

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When state prison populations were at their peak, prisons like San Quentin in California used gymnasiums to house inmates in bunks. Now it's the federal prison system that's overcrowded. The Bureau of Prisons says it's 35 to 40 percent over capacity. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

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As States Close Prisons And Cut Crime, Feds Lag Behind

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Why Small Town Mayors Face Multiple Disadvantages

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The bustling Sidamo coffee shop in Washington's H Street Northeast neighborhood. The area has attracted many new, young residents and high-end bars, retail and restaurants over the past several years. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

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Mentally ill inmates who are able to shower, eat, sit quietly and otherwise care for themselves live in the jail's Division 2. A psychologist is stationed right outside the room, and officers are specially trained to deal with psychotic episodes. Laura Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help

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Prince George's County, Md., Police Officer Juan Damian and Dora Escobar outside one of her popular check cashing businesses. Laura Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label

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Bill Baker returned to Alcatraz for the first time since he was an inmate there more than 50 years ago. Laura Sullivan/NPR hide caption

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A Night At The Rock: Former Alcatraz Inmate Journeys Back

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New Details Emerge On Woman Shot After Capitol Hill Car Chase

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