Packed Into Prisons, With No Relief in Sight

Crowded jails from the Mexican border to North Carolina have prisoners packed into cells, sleeping in day rooms and struggling with overflowing sewers and waste water. There’s plenty of money in Arizona for boosted border patrols, which capture more illegal immigrants who are then charged with felonies. But the Christian Science Monitor reports that funding is in short supply for overwhelmed courts and jails along the border. The federal caseload in Arizona increased 94 percent between 1996 and 2006 — so many new cases that attorneys are forced to spend less time on each suspect. In the Navajo Nation, most lawbreakers never do time in local jails, which are overcrowded and plagued by sewage overflows.