Associated Press/Photo by Elaine Thompson (file)

Congress restores college funding for inmates

Compassion | Prison reform advocates celebrate the change
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/20/21, 06:00 pm

Congress’ most recent coronavirus stimulus legislation accomplished one of criminal justice reform advocates’ major goals: restoring Pell Grants to prisoners.

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Associated Press/Photo by Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery (file)

Anti-trafficking groups decry woman’s execution

Compassion | Lisa Montgomery committed—and was the victim of—heinous crime
by Mary Jackson
Posted 1/20/21, 04:42 pm

In the waning days of the Trump administration, the federal government executed a female convict for the first time in nearly seven decades. Her sentence invigorated public debate over the death penalty and raised questions about the role of a suspect’s past trauma in criminal sentencing.

Lisa Montgomery, 52, was convicted in 2008 of strangling 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett of Missouri, who was eight months pregnant, and cutting the premature baby out of its mother’s womb. The baby girl lived and turned 16 on Dec. 16.

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Associated Press/Photo by John Locher (file)

As welfare booms during pandemic, so do fraud and waste

Compassion | Scholars suggest changes to make sure money goes where it’s needed most
by Charissa Koh
Posted 1/20/21, 01:39 pm

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, California has made unemployment payments to more than 20,000 ineligible prisoners, with $42 million going to inmates in other states. In December, the state Employment Development Department estimated fraud consumed $4 billion of the state’s pandemic relief money.

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