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Victims Being Billed for Rape 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.

"You never really think, 'Is rape covered by insurance?'" Eight days after a New Orleans woman was raped, she was billed $2,000 for her medical treatment (her insurance would pay $1,400). A few days later, $1,700 in additional charges landed in the mail. Why was she being charged for treatment of a sexual crime? In Louisiana, rape victims are routinely billed for their medical care, despite state and federal guidelines stipulating that such treatment should be free. — The Times-Picayune via @laura_nelson

Should battered women be prosecuted for failing to protect their children?  BuzzFeed found at least 28 women in 11 states who were handed prison sentences for failing to prevent their children form being harmed by abusive partners, despite evidence that they were also being battered. One woman was sentenced to 45 years in prison after her boyfriend killed her son. “I done tried to leave plenty of times,” she testified, but he “actually called and threatened to kill my family.” — BuzzFeed News via @KendallTTaggart

“They’re punishing the families, not the inmates.” The privatization of prisons is taking a greater toll on poor families who are being forced to pay hefty fees to send money to loved ones serving time. Prison bankers are collecting tens of millions from inmates’ families. Just one Florida company now handles money transfers for nearly 70 percent of the U.S. prison population, and is the only option for at least 450,000 inmates.  — Center for Public Integrity via @mattapuzzo

Excessive force or ‘excited delirium’? A 25-year-old suspect loses consciousness with his face down to the ground, hands and ankles zip-tied behind his back. A week later, he dies. New Jersey authorities later concluded the young man died of a rare condition called “excited delirium” — but records cast doubt on the police accounting of his death. — NJ Advance Media via @carla_astudi

Beatings. Shootings. Broken bones. Since 2011, the city of Baltimore has paid $5.7 million to settle claims of false arrests, false imprisonment or excessive force by its police officers. In almost all of the largest payouts, people were cleared of any criminal charges. — Baltimore Sun via @petesweigard

He’d slept for only three hours and 20 minutes before the collision that left a mother dead, one son with a broken pelvis and eye socket, and another permanently disabled. The story of Dough Bouch, who was sentenced to five years in prison for the fatal crash, is one of a growing number of trucking accidents involving sleep-deprived truck drivers. — Bloomberg News via Paul Steiger


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