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The Department of Justice is ending the use of private prisons.

The United States has more people living in prisons than any other country.

According to some estimates, 25% of the planet's prison population is in the USA — nearly 7 million people in 2013.

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.


Despite the fact that violent crime has been steadily declining in recent years, America's incarceration rate has tripled since 1980.

We've been locking people away with such regularity that we actually started to run out of space. That's why about 10 years ago, the government began working with private contractors to open up private or "for profit" prisons for housing excess of inmates — a practice that has soared into a $70 billion industry.

But that's about to change: On Aug. 18, 2016, Sally Yatesannounced the Department of Justice will phase out the federal use of private prisons.

As you might be able to imagine, when you add the words "privately owned" to a prison, the effects aren't great. What was once a correctional system has turned into a profit-engine whose fuel is prisoners.

Time and time again, the prison industrial complex has been found to be corrupt, abusive, inhumane, and unsafe.

Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images.

"Private prisons served an important role during a difficult period," said Deputy Attorney General Yates in her memo.

"But time has shown thatthey compare poorly to our own Bureau facilities. They simply do not provide the same level ofcorrectional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and asnoted in a recent report by the Department's Office of Inspector General, they do not maintainthe same level of safety and security."

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

This isn't the only positive change we've seen in the prison system lately either.

In recent years, prison populations have been declining. There are many factors to this: crime reduction, policy reforms, and improved public safety, to name a few.

There's also the fact that the vast majority of people we lock up have committed drug offenses, and in 2010, more than half of the drug arrests made were for marijuana — a drug that's now legal in many states. As we decriminalize marijuana, prison population numbers are likely to drop even lower — yet another reason to close private prisons.

While these prisons won't be closing overnight, DOJ officialshave been ordered to end or "substantially reduce" their contracts with them.

Yates speaking in June 2016. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

There are still many problems to fix within our justice system, including (and especially) the rulings and laws that caused these high prison population problems and necessitated the use of private prisons in the first place.

But this is a big step in the right direction.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

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Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

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Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


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However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

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Actress Julia Fox shares a tour of her cluttered NYC apartment, and it's a relatable mess

"Hopefully, somebody watches this and thinks, ‘Well, OK, maybe I’m not doing so bad.’”

@juliafox/TikTok

Julia Fox taking viewers on a tour of her apartment in New York.

To live in a perfectly curated, always tidy, Marie Kondo-worthy home might be a lovely fantasy. But for many, dare I say most of us, that is simply not a reality. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or helpful hands in the house to keep it from getting messy multiple times a week. Square that by a million if the home has small kiddos in it. And if there’s only one parent to clean up after those small kiddos? Forget about it.

That’s why people are letting out a huge sigh of relief after getting a video tour of Julia Fox’s New York apartment in all its glorious disarray.

The actress and model is often seen wearing bold, high-end fashion pieces at glamorous events like the Met Gala,

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This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

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This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


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