ACLU

It's illegal to employ immigrants without documents. But through voluntary work programs in detention centers, the federal government employs thousands of undocumented immigrants. "The government, which forbids everyone else from hiring people without documents, has effectively become the biggest employer of undocumented immigrants in the country," says Carl Takei, an attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project.

The pay for an eight hour shift in a detention center is $1 a day, or roughly 13 cents an hour.

By last count, the Justice Department estimates about 80,000 U.S. inmates live in some kind of restricted housing.

That means being confined to a cell for about 22 hours a day.

"You are going to eat, sleep and defecate in a small room that's actually smaller than the size of your average parking space," said Amy Fettig, a lawyer who runs the Stop Solitary campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And you're going to do that for months, years and sometimes even decades on end."

Fettig said solitary confinement is brutal and expensive.

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More than 1.3 million people are incarcerated in state prisons in this country, and keeping those prisons running requires tens of thousands of corrections officers. But right now, some states are facing major staffing shortages.

Much of this shortfall is because of the strong economy, but recruiters also are struggling with the job's cultural stigma.

Cadets at Wyoming's Department of Corrections Training Academy are practicing how they'll handcuff prisoners. In a few weeks this scenario will be very real, but right now everyone is pretty relaxed.

The federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage in 32 states and the capital, after Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday that federal agencies will now recognize same-sex married couples in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Marijuana Enforcement Disproportionately Impact Minorities

Nov 1, 2012
CPN / Colorado Public News

100,000 Coloradans have medical marijuana licenses now. Still, even though more patients can legally buy pot, arrests are UP by seven per cent. And data shows that minorities are arrested at higher rates than whites, even though they use the drug less. With an amendment to legalize marijuana on the ballot this fall, Colorado Public News’ Carol McKinley takes a look at the controversial issue.