Lisa Laboni / The Marshall Project

Virginia has about thirty thousand people in its prisons, and for each one it spends $2.10 a day on food.  Now, one inmate is suing, alleging the daily diet puts him at high risk for obesity, cancer and many chronic conditions.


There are now more than 30,000 people in Virginia prisons, costing taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year.  A growing number are senior citizens with average healthcare costs of $68,000 a year.  The parole board could release many of them, but it’s been freeing less than five percent per year.

Dave Nakayama / Creative Commons

In 1995, Virginia abolished parole -- a change that led to crowding of state prisons and longer stays behind bars.  Now, small cracks have developed in the legal wall that keeps about 30,000 people locked up.  Sandy Hausman reports on changes that could free some inmates.


As the Obama administration draws to a close, officials at the Justice Department are busy commuting sentences of people convicted for drug offenses, especially crack cocaine. And, as Michael Pope reports, nowhere in the country has sentences for crack dealers as long as the Eastern District of Virginia.

Leaders in Arlington are settling a federal lawsuit against a jail for failing to offer services to a deaf inmate. As Michael Pope reports, the settlement could have consequences for jails across Virginia -- and the United States.