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Sandy Hausman

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As prison populations continue to increase and budgets get tighter, reforming the system will become ever more important.

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Parole is allowed under a Virginia rule that enables the state to release people over 60 who have served at least ten years. More than a thousand inmates have been eligible under this geriatric provision, but only 40 have been released since 2001. One key question: Where would they go?

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Virginia has about 30,000 inmates in state prisons, served by 14 psychiatrists. Segregation, restraining chairs and solitary confinement are other means by which mental health patients in state prisons receive treatment.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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