Study: Private prisons result in more inmates, longer sentences

The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.

  • After adopting strict sentencing laws in the '80s and '90s, many states have turned to for-profit prisons to handle growing prison populations.
  • A new study in Labour Economics found that privately-run prisons correlate with a rise in incarceration rates and sentence lengths.
  • While evidence is mixed, private prisons do not appear to improve recidivism or cost less than state-run facilities.
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    8 powerful speakers that might make you think differently about racism

    8 powerful voices share what it's like to be black in America, and why white people must break the racist status quo.

    • Black communities have been telling the nation, for more than a century, that they have been targeted, beaten, falsely accused and killed by the police and other institutions meant to protect them.
    • They have not been believed until recently, when the rise in camera phones and social media finally enabled them show and disseminate proof.
    • Even after the video of George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, there remains defensiveness and denial among white Americans and institutions—a defensiveness that prevents change to the root of the problem: systemic racism. In this video, eight powerful voices share perspectives on being black in America, and why white inaction and white politeness must end.
    To learn more about what you can do to end the racist status quo, educate yourself and take action. Here is Robin DiAngelo's list of resources.

    Why are some psychopaths 'successful'? It may depend on one personality trait

    What makes some psychopaths better able to control their antisocial tendencies?

    Lions Gate Films/Columbia Pictures
    • Researchers have long struggled to explain the stark differences in life outcomes of psychopaths.
    • A new study suggests that the personality trait conscientiousness helps psychopaths develop impulse-control skills over time.
    • However, this process seems to apply only to individuals who score high in certain psychopathic traits.
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    OSCAR RIVERA/AFP via Getty Images

    The United States incarcerates a larger proportion of its citizens than any other developed country in the world, with around 1.5 million people serving time in prison.

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    Algorithms identify repeat offenders better than judges

    Can AI make better predictions about future crimes?

    Image source: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
    • A new study finds algorithmic predictions of recidivism more accurate than human authorities.
    • Researchers are trying to construct tests of such AI that accurately mirror real-world deliberations.
    • What level of reliability should we demand of AI in sentencing?
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