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Articles by Madison Pauly

Getting Out of Jail After Dark Can Be Dangerous – and Sometimes Deadly

Nighttime is the worst possible time to release prisoners. So why do so many jails do it?

by Madison Pauly, Mother Jones

The last bus of the day pulls away from the parking lot outside the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, at 8:43 p.m. Twenty minutes later, a young woman pulls up the hood of her dark jacket, pushes open the jail lobby’s heavy door, and steps out into the night, looking for a cigarette.

Leah, as I’ll call her, is not the only just-released prisoner trying to score a smoke. “Who’s got a fucking cigarette?” yells a man bursting through the door behind her. Near the bus stop, Leah finds a butt burned almost all the way to the filter. Clutching it, she approaches me for a lighter. I don’t have one; I offer her my cell phone instead. Leah, whose voice is shaking, wants to call her mom. She’s planning to take the train home. It’s a 35-minute trek, in the dark, to the station.

When her call goes to voicemail, Leah becomes distraught. “I don’t want to walk this path, but I will,” she says into the phone. “I love you, and I’ll see you ...

Mississippi’s Prison Bribery Scandal Is in the Past, But the State Still Hasn’t Learned Its Lesson

by Madison Pauly, Mother Jones, Feb. 6, 2019


Since 2014, a massive bribery scandal involving some of the most powerful prison industry corporations in America has hung like a cloud over Mississippi’s already-troubled corrections system, which locks people up at a higher rate than almost any other state. ...