FROM Lisa Roberts
Mass incarceration in middle America Prison reform is reducing inmate populations from big America cities — but, in many suburbs and rural communities, it's just the reverse. The same crimes that call for probation or just months in jail in Cincinnati, Ohio, are leading to years in prison in nearby Dearborn County, Indiana. The new convicts are not Latinos and African Americans, imprisoned disproportionately for so many years. They're part of the white middle class. One reason is the addiction to prescription drugs that's created a new market for cheap heroin and the crime that goes with it. It's also due to the punitive use of discretion by prosecutors and judges -- raising new questions about equal treatment under the law.
Opioid and Heroin Addictions in America Two epidemics of drug addiction in Middle America have victimized people who suffer from pain. "Fatal heroin overdoses in America have almost tripled in three years. More than 8,250 people a year now die from heroin. At the same time, roughly double that number are dying from prescription opioid painkillers, which are molecularly similar." That's from a recent piece in the New York Times by Sam Quinones, based on his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic . Portsmouth, Ohio is the unlikely "Ground Zero" for parallel epidemics of drug addiction that have spread nationwide. Expensive, but legal, painkillers have been over-hyped by Big Pharma, creating a market for a cheaper form of relief: "black tar Heroin" from Mexico. Congress is beginning to pay attention. Photo: Elizabeth Roy
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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.