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Mississippi Jails Are Losing Inmates, And Local Officials Are ‘Devastated’ By The Loss Of Revenue

Mississippi prisonCounty officials across Mississippi are warning of job losses and deep deficits as local jails are being deprived of the state inmates needed to keep them afloat. The culprit, say local officials, is state government and private prisons, which are looking to boost their own revenue as sentencing and drug-policy reforms are sending fewer bodies into the correctional system.

In the late 1990s, as the overcrowded Mississippi prison system buckled under the weight of mass incarceration, the state asked local governments to build local correctional institutions to house state prisoners. It was billed as a win-win: The Mississippi Department of Correction would foot the bill for each prisoner, and the counties would get good jobs guarding them. The state guaranteed that the local jails would never be less than 80 percent occupied, and the locals would get a 3 percent boost in compensation each year.


Cirque du Soleil scraps NC shows over bathroom law

Cirque de Soleil refuses to perform in NCCirque du Soleil on Friday announced that it is cancelling its scheduled performances in North Carolina over the state’s law codifying which bathroom a transgender person must use.

“Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form,” the performing troupe wrote on its Facebook page. "The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all.


Supreme court considers taking case of man given life in prison for growing pot

SCOTUS to take up life sentence for growing potThe US supreme court is poised on Friday to decide whether to take on the case of a 76-year-old disabled army veteran handed a sentence of life in prison without parole for growing marijuana in his back yard to alleviate his own health problems.

If the court does not review the case, Lee Carroll Brooker is destined to die behind bars even though judges in his native Alabama have declared this was not an appropriate punishment.


Board OKs Parole for Former Manson Cult Member Van Houten

Leslie Van HoutenA California panel recommended parole Thursday for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten more than four decades after she went to prison for the notorious killings of a wealthy grocer and his wife.

The decision will now undergo administrative review by the Board of Parole Hearings. If upheld it goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has the final word on whether the now-66-year-old Van Houten is released from the California Institution for Women in Chino.


Anne Jackson, Stage Star With Her Husband, Eli Wallach, Dies at 90

Anne Jackson diesThe actress and her husband Eli were considered one of the most acclaimed couples in American theater history, having appeared together in 20 plays both on and off-Broadway over the course of 50 years.

After meeting in 1946 while appearing in the Tennessee Williams play This Property Is Condemned, they wed two years later and continued collaborating in shows by revered playwrights such as Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov and Eugene Ionesco.

One of their most memorable projects was in Murray Schisgal's comedy Luv, which also starred Alan Arkin. The production, directed by Mike Nichols, won three Tony Awards.


Franciscan friars face hearing on child endangerment charges

Franciscan friars charged with child endangermentThree Franciscan friars face a hearing on charges they allowed a suspected sexual predator to teach at a Pennsylvania high school and hold other jobs where he molested more than 100 children, including in Ohio.

Thursday’s hearing will determine whether Robert D’Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli, and Giles Schinelli stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.


Ringo Starr cancels North Carolina concert over anti-LGBT bill

Ringo Starr cancels NC concertBeatles legend Ringo Starr is the latest musician to join the chorus against the anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina.

The 75-year-old Starr drummed up more attention against the Southern state's House Bill 2 by cancelling his June 18 concert at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

"I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred," he said in a statement. "Spread peace and love."


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