ORIENT, OH—In yet another glaring indication of the nation’s broken criminal justice system, Ohio correctional officers discovered the body of inmate Ariel Castro, a Cleveland man serving a life sentence on rape and kidnapping charges, hanging from his jail cell Tuesday night, prompting strong calls for action from reformers looking to correct America’s failed correctional policy. “What happened to Ariel Castro is symptomatic of a deeply flawed rehabilitation system that provides neither justice nor security, instead allowing countless men and women each year to fall through the cracks,” prison reform advocate John Wolahan told reporters, noting that Castro, who police say was left unattended for 30 minutes at a time by security personnel, was as much a victim of the prison’s negligence as he was of society as a whole. “In a legal system concerned with harsh sentencing and ultra-punitive approaches to justice, the well-being of people like Ariel Castro—those who have to live in the system we created—is treated as a mere afterthought. And I ask you: How many Ariel Castros have to suffer before we realize the machine is broken? His death is something we all have to live with.” Reformers added that the case was especially tragic because prison employees had reportedly seen warning signs from Castro for weeks and took no action.
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