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Pope Francis visits infamous Bolivian prison, Palmasola and President Obama plans trip to federal prison in Oklahoma; is the wind shifting on our mass incarceration policies?

Pope Francis visits infamous Bolivian prison, Palmasola and President Obama plans trip to federal prison in Oklahoma; is the wind shifting on our mass incarceration policies?

All Things Considered ran this Arun Rath story about the Pontiff’s stop at Palmasola, part of a tour through Latin America.

(Transcript)

Palmasola is the biggest jail in Bolivia, and has become famous after news reports exposed corruption and violence permitted by the guards in exchange for bribes.

The papal visit was chronicled in a video, below.

Pope Francis isn’t the only high-profile leader paying attention to incarceration; President Obama will visit Oklahoma’s El Reno Correctional Institution, becoming the first sitting US president to visit a federal prison. Today, he commuted the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders, and he interviewed The Wire creator David Simon earlier this year. Simon didn’t mince words when he criticized the US drug policy during their interview.

What do you think about this recent focus on the plight of the incarcerated from two influential world leaders? Does it give you hope that policies may be changing?

Posted by David Streever

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