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12th Street | 2020

Each year 25,000 inmates are released in Huntsville, Texas — one of the largest prison towns in America. Monday through Friday, the glass doors swing open on the front of the Civil War-era, red-brick prison they call The Walls. The inmates exit and shuffle along the sidewalk, some smiling, some pensive, all shouldering onion sacks full of belongings. With no one to greet them, most of them stream past the private homes and prison offices toward the Greyhound bus station three blocks away. For hours, until buses have carried them off, there are lines of released prisoners everywhere near the station: a line for bus tickets, a line to cash prison checks, a line to buy new clothes.

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Delay, Deny, Hope You Die

Thousands of American soldiers returned from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan with severe illnesses from the chemical war. They are not the victims of ruthless enemy warfare, but of decisions made by their own military commanders. These soldiers, afflicted with everything from respiratory diseases to rare cancers, were sickened by the smoke and ash swirling out of the “burn pits”, where both the military and private contractors incinerated mountains of trash. Although the government denies there is any link between burn pit toxins and illness, internal military memos show that it was known as far back as 2006 that there was “an acute health hazard for individuals.” Today, up to 100,000 soldiers may be sick.

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