Stand Your Ground, Juvenile Detention, and the Limits of Welfare Reform

This week’s top MuckReads from ProPublica.

Here are this week’s top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica’s ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to The best submissions are featured on ProPublica and @ProPublica.

A Trayvon Martin poster.
Trayvon Martin’s death has brought attention to various states’ Stand Your Ground laws

Allison Joyce/Getty Images.

Stand Your Ground Law Coincides With Jump in Justifiable-Homicides Cases, Washington Post
After Florida expanded its gun laws in 2005, more than 30 states adopted similarly broad versions of the Stand Your Ground law at the center of the Trayvon Martin case. Justifiable-homicide cases have also been on the rise nationwide.
Contributed by @kleinmatic

Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America, Wired
America locks up children at a higher rate than all other developed countries, with about 60,000 juveniles imprisoned on any given day. Photographer Richard Ross spent five years photographing the little-seen conditions inside 350 correction centers across the United States.

How Bahrain Spends Millions to Spin the Press, Jalopnik
Since last year’s Arab Spring, Bahrain has been beefing up its international PR efforts, signing deals with at least 10 PR firms and one editor-turned-flack: David Cracknell, former political editor for the Sunday Times. He says he worked for a government with a “progressive agenda” that “believes in democracy; not theocracy.” But after this contract, he won’t be working with the island country again.
Contributed by @elliottjustin

Welfare Limits Left Poor Adrift as Recession Hit, New York Times
After the recession hit, pitfalls of the mid-1990s welfare reform started to show. Now, “leading Republicans” are pushing similar reforms to other government-aid programs, like Medicaid and food stamps. 
Contributed by @nhannahjones

For Feds, ‘Lying’ Is a Handy Charge, Wall Street Journal
A controversial law against lying to federal prosecutors—often referred to simply as “1001”—is used hundreds of times every year, often against defendants for whom thee evidence isn’t strong enough to warrant other charges. In one case, a marine biologist and operator is facing up to 20 years in prison, not because one of her boat captains illegally whistled at a whale but because the government said she lied about and altered a video of the encounter.
Contributed by @JessePesta

How One Georgia Town Gambled Its Future on Immigration Detention, The Nation
In rural Georgia, jobs depend on prison contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As the state passed strict laws designed to keep out undocumented immigrants, politicians lobbied to keep immigrant detainees flowing to a private prison, even as ICE expressed concern about standards at the facility. 

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