FROM Christie Thompson
Solitary Confinement and Prison Reform Some 88,000 inmates of state and federal prisons are in some form of solitary confinement, although it’s not called by its real name. But concern about abusive detention — even on death row — has reached all the way to the US Supreme Court. Writing about a case dealing with a different subject, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently stunned court watchers by condemning solitary confinement . He noted that, as long ago as 1890, the Court acknowledged that solitary can lead to madness and suicide, and listed possible side effects including: anxiety panic, withdrawal, hallucinations and self-mutilation. The mental damage caused by isolation is well known, but often inmates are released directly from solitary into the general population outside. Some prison systems are trying to change their ways. We look at the practice of solitary confinement and the available alternatives.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?