This article was originally published by the Vera Institute of Justice in June 2006. What happens inside jails and prisons does not stay inside jails and prisons: It comes home with prisoners after they are released and with corrections officers at the end of each shift. When people live and work in facilities that are unsafe, unhealthy, unproductive, or inhumane, they carry the effects into the community with them. We all bear responsibility for creating correctional institutions that are safe, humane, and productive. With so much at stake for U.S. citizens' health and safety, with so many people directly affected by the conditions in U.S. prisons and jails, this is the moment to confront confinement in the United States.

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