There has been a ton of prisoner-related news over the last few days and almost all of it courtesy of the New York Times. First, the Times noted a trend amongst conservative states: they are lightening harsh sentences in an effort to save money.

Then came word that Texas–the incarcerationa and death penalty capital of the world–was CLOSING a prison. Yes, that’s right, closing a prison. State officials concluded that the prison property could be put to better use. Now there’s a novel idea.

But then came the not so good news. The British prison population has reached an all time high. And over on this continent, women have become the “fastest-growing segment of the American prison population, increasing by 757 percent between 1977 and 2004.” As the article noted: “These trends have profound consequences for the women, their communities and their families, particularly since the majority of women in prison are mothers who are the primary caregivers for their children when they are incarcerated.” Scary, huh?!!!

And lastly, the Times published a piece on victim’s rights and how the family members of the murdered fight for the dead at parole hearings in California. This is an excellent piece on the part of the justice system that goes unnoticed sometimes.