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FROM THIS EPISODE

The US has more people in prison than China, a country that’s 4 times larger. Even many conservatives say it’s not worth the cost. Pennsylvania and Texas are among 35 States enacting reforms by declaring a partial truce in the nationwide War on Drugs. Now, there’s bipartisan support for cutting the sentences of almost half of all current federal prisoners. But some hardliners still maintain that tough sentencing is the reason that crime is on the decline. We’ll hear conflicting opinions.

Also, Congress seeks common ground on improving health care at the Veterans Administration, and will the trial of a former Governor change politics in Virginia?

Banner Image Credit: Bob Jagendorf

Producers:
Claire Martin
Evan George
Gideon Brower

Congress Seeks Common Ground on VA Bill… If Not Others 6 MIN, 22 SEC

This is the last week until the Senate and Congress take their August recess, and a lot of the nation’s business will remain undone. But there just might be an agreement on improving health care at the Veterans Administration. Susan Ferrechio is Chief Congressional Correspondent for the Washington Examiner.

Guests:
Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner (@susanferrechio)

Mass Incarceration: Is a Solution in Sight? 36 MIN, 43 SEC

The US has so many inmates in prison it’s been called “the incarceration nation.” It has more inmates than any other country, including China, which has 4 times the population. Now, in addition to other reforms, many states are reducing the tough sentences established during the War on Drugs, and the US Sentencing Commission is unanimous in recommending that terms be reduced for almost half the inmates in federal prisons.

Guests:
Christine Leonard, Vera Institute of Justice
John Wetzel, Pennsylvania’s State Department of Corrections
Bob Bushman, National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition
Lamont Carey, former felon (@LamontCarey)

VA. Ex-Governor’s Trial Begins 6 MIN, 31 SEC

The Washington Post points out that, until January, Robert McDonnell held the same office once occupied by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. But McDonnell’s the first Governor of Virginia to be charged with a crime. He and his wife Maureen face 14 charges of public corruption and lying on financial documents. Larry Sabato is Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Guests:
Larry Sabato, University of Virginia Center for Politics (@larrysabato)

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