Lone Star lockdown

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Who says Texas hasn’t made progress on George W.’s watch? The JUSTICE POLICY INSTITUTE reports that even in the prison-happy United States, which boasts the largest prison population in the world, Texas is a standout. The Lone Star State has more people behind bars than any other state in the country, surpassing even California, despite the fact that California’s population is larger by 13 million people.

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An accomplishment like that didn’t happen overnight. During the 1990s the growth rate of the Texas state prison system has been about double that of the rest of the country. As a result, today one in 20 adult Texans is in prison, on parole, or under some other form of criminal justice supervision. And here’s a Texas-sized statistic: The population under criminal justice supervision in Texas is larger than the entire population of Alaska.


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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