Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Masthead Weekly 07.12.19

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What to Know: Jail Reform

By David A. Graham

What we’re watching: The great thing about longform journalism is that a writer gets to put everything he wants into his stories, right? Ha, as if. In my recent report on the progressive sheriffs who took power in North Carolina in November—and like-minded law enforcers around the country—I focused on immigration enforcement, because it’s an issue of national importance that spotlights the tension points between federal, state, and local governments.

I didn’t give as much attention as I might have liked to the reform of county jails and detention centers. Conditions in lockups have been an important issue in many of the races where progressive sheriffs have won elections, and the ones I profiled often seemed happier to talk about that than the divisive subject of immigration.

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