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Homes Lost in Bed-Stuy, NYC Lead, Prison Phone Profits and More in Muckreads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email?  Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

How Habitat for Humanity Went to Brooklyn and Poor Families Lost Their Homes, ProPublica

Habitat for Humanity NYC received a $21 million federal grant to revamp buildings in 2011. They decided on the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, with the goal of renovating long vacant properties. But there was just one problem: with few vacant properties in the area, poor families were pushed out to make room for the project.

How Prison Phone Calls Became A Tax On The Poor, International Business Times

Studies have shown that recidivism rates drop when inmates are allowed to communicate with family members. But that communication can be expensive – and as prisons continue to license prison phone calls to private companies in exchange for hefty "commission" fees, that is unlikely to change, according to this article.  Last year alone, Marion County, Florida, received more than half a million dollars in commissions from Securus Technologies, a for-profit prison technology company that charges about $4 for 15-minute calls. "I can only do like $20 per month. That's all I can afford," said one Florida inmate's mother. "That's only three phone calls."

Poison Profits, Huffington Post/WNYC

New York City cited nearly 2,000 landlords for lead safety violations between November 2013 and January 2016, with 200 landlords accounting for half of all violations. But as lead concerns grow in wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, some New York landlords see ignoring lead risks "as the cost of doing business," according to this investigation.

Profiteering masquerades as medical care for injured California workers, Reveal

In several cases, "pay-to-play schemes trump patient care," in California's workers' compensation system, and workers are prescribed "unregulated treatments" and medications. But, as prosecutors have started pursuing charges against medical professionals accused of fraud, that may be changing.

As SAT was hit by security breaches, College Board went ahead with tests that had leaked, Reuters

The College Board — the company that owns and administers the SAT — has admitted in recent years to "widespread problems with test security in Asia," but the problems might be bigger than they let on. This investigation found at least eight incidents since late 2013 where SAT test material circulated online before the test was given overseas.

Choking to Death in Detroit: Flint Isn't Michigan's Only Disaster, Newsweek

In 2011, University of Michigan professor Paul Mohai found that "82 percent of black students [in Detroit] go to school in the most polluted parts of the city," as compared to just 44 percent of white students. This article explores why environmental racism is just as pervasive in southwest Detroit as it is in Flint.

#MuckReads Local: Woman says Tampa domestic violence shelter put secrecy before safety when her child was molested, Tampa Bay Times

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