Jailing the mentally ill
American prisons have replaced state mental hospitals as a place to warehouse the mentally ill. The country’s three biggest jail systems—Cook County, Ill., Los Angeles County, and New York City—are treating more than 11,000 prisoners for mental illness on a typical day. By comparison, the three largest state-run mental hospitals have a combined 4,000 beds.
The Wall Street Journal

The cost of prison
The cost of housing an inmate in New York City’s prisons for just one year is $167,731, according to a new study. That’s nearly the cost of a four-year Ivy League education.
Associated Press

Snooping on spouses, too
About a dozen employees of the National Security Agency abused their snooping power to listen in on the phone conversations and/or monitor the Internet activity of spouses or love interests, the agency admitted last week. In one case, an employee spied on her husband’s calls and another phone number because she suspected he was having an affair.
CNN.com

The thirstiest states
The residents of North Dakota, the heart of America’s natural gas boom, are the biggest beer drinkers in the U.S. The average local guzzled 46 gallons of beer last year—9.5 percent more than in 2011—while the residents of New Hampshire, the next thirstiest state, drank 44 gallons.
Bloomberg.com

Social networking for gangs
An increasing number of U.S. gangs are using social media to boast about their criminal activities. Nearly 20 percent of gang members said their gang had a website or social networking page, and 50 percent said their gang posted videos online, according to an Arizona State University study.
USA Today