prison overcrowding

Prosecutors usually spend their energy putting criminals behind bars, not urging their release. But racial disparities in the system and the huge costs of locking up so many people are pushing some government officials to call for a new approach.

One of them is the woman who now runs day-to-day operations at the Justice Department. Sally Yates says she's hardly soft on crime: "I'm a career prosecutor."

Headlines for Wednesday, April 29, 2105:

  • The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on same sex marriage. (NewsOK)

  • The fate of Oklahoma’s execution drug protocol goes before the high court today. (Tulsa World)

  • A bill designed to reduce prison overcrowding awaits a signature from the Governor. (NewsOK)

More than 1.3 million people are incarcerated in state prisons in this country, and keeping those prisons running requires tens of thousands of corrections officers. But right now, some states are facing major staffing shortages.

Much of this shortfall is because of the strong economy, but recruiters also are struggling with the job's cultural stigma.

Cadets at Wyoming's Department of Corrections Training Academy are practicing how they'll handcuff prisoners. In a few weeks this scenario will be very real, but right now everyone is pretty relaxed.

Business Insider looks into several troubling cases of alleged problems at the Oklahoma County Jail. Among them, unsanitary conditions, negligent care of inmates, poor medical care, and abuse of inmates.

Headlines for Thursday, February 26, 2015:

  • The US Supreme Court is considering the case of a Tulsa woman who was not given a job for religious reasons. (NewsOK)

  • Chesapeake Energy releases its 2014 fourth quarter earnings to mixed results. (Journal Record)

  • A state House committee narrowly passes a bill to increase fines for cattle rustlers. (Oklahoma Watch)