Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg (file)

Bail systems get a bailout

Compassion | States’ attempts at reform yield mix results
by Charissa Koh
Posted 8/05/20, 04:02 pm

Kalief Browder spent three years in jail on New York City’s Rikers Island, awaiting a trial that never happened for robbery and assault.

When police charged him for robbery in 2010, the 16-year-old’s family couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000 bail. After three years at Rikers and numerous court delays, prosecutors dropped the charges when the main witness disappeared. Guards and other inmates had abused Browder, who spent months in solitary confinement and attempted suicide multiple times.

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Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

COVID-19 complicates ministry to asylum-seekers

Coronavirus | The U.S. has halted asylum hearings, and migrants hoping for entry are in limbo
by Sophia Lee
Posted 7/31/20, 03:01 pm

Every Monday for the last several months, single mother Alma Ruth crossed the border between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico. The town is infamous for its violent cartel turf wars: The U.S. State Department issued the highest travel advisory (last updated Dec. 17, 2019) to that area for “crime and kidnapping,” which includes armed robberies, murder, sexual assaults, and extortion.

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Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The COVID-19 chasm: The pandemic hits the heartland

Coronavirus | Middle America is seeing spikes in cases and the exhaustion of fending off the virus
by Lynde Langdon, Sarah Schweinsberg & Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/30/20, 12:08 pm

The COVID-19 tracking graph for Sedgwick County, Kan., looks like the steep incline at the beginning of a roller coaster. The city of Wichita and its surrounding county went from 143 active cases on June 1 to 2,442 on July 28, according to the Sedgwick County Health Department. By the third week of July, the percentage of people testing positive had soared to 12.8 percent from less than 2 percent on June 1, and the county’s top physician reinstated a ban on gatherings of 15 people or more.

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