Highlights from the week’s juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.

Can Theater Help Solve California’s Prison Overcrowding Crisis?

Allowing prisoners to express themselves is a successful tool in reducing recidivism–significant proof of the power of the arts, in every field of life. What viable argument exists against arts-in-corrections programs when participants get the chance to reflect on their actions and identities? One participant said, “I made a major transition. I got to express my emotions …. I made a real connection with the men here …. It’s made me a better man.”

READ MORE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-robbins/california-prison-overcrowding_b_4176966.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime

Target Bans the Box

Now there is more to love about one of the nation’s largest employers, Target Corporation: they have banned the question of criminal history on preliminary job applications. This allows individuals to prove their qualifications without stigma of their criminal history blinding a potential employer from fairly assessing their skills.

READ MORE: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/target-bans-the-box/?hp&rref=opinion&_r=2

State Spending on Prison Health Care is Exploding. Here’s Why.

In recent decades, mandatory minimums have led hundreds of thousands to be sentenced to multiple decades in prison. Our confinement facilities rampantly abuse solitary confinement to further punish the incarcerated, and the needs of America’s prisoners are neglected day in and day out. What do these practices end in? A rapidly rising amount of state expenditures going towards prison healthcare.

READ MORE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/10/30/state-spending-on-prison-health-care-is-exploding-heres-why/

Illinois Prisoners Stage Hunger Strike for Books

Many people think that if they were behind bars, at the very least they’d be able to stay mentally stimulated by catching up on their reading. At the very least. Unfortunately, this is not the case at Illinois’ Woodford County Jail, where books have been banned from entering the facility for the last 6 weeks. An outraged public is taking to their smartphone and iPads, showing their protest with a hashtag: #right2read.

READ MORE: http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/the-stream/the-stream-officialblog/2013/10/29/illinois-prisonersstagehungerstrikeforbooks.html

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