prisons prisons

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get. Denny Culbert for NPR hide caption

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Denny Culbert for NPR

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

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The U.S. holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic country, according to critics of the treatment. Here, an immigrant detainee makes a call from his "segregation cell" at a detention facility in Adelanto, Calif., last November. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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John Moore/Getty Images

Solitary Confinement Costs $78K Per Inmate And Should Be Curbed, Critics Say

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Brazil's General Superintendency of Prisons of Alagoas (SGAP) released this photo last Dec. 31 of a cat caught with contraband taped to its body at a medium-security prison in Alagoas state. /AP hide caption

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From 2006 to 2010, at least 148 female inmates at two California facilities had tubal ligation surgeries. Some of the surgeries took place at the Valley State Prison for Women, seen here in 2000. Gary Kazanjian/AP hide caption

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Gary Kazanjian/AP