Drug offenders and race
For the first time in 25 years, the number of blacks in state prisons for drug offenses declined, while the number of white drug offenders rose sharply. The number of black drug offenders fell 21.6 percent from 1999 to 2005—the last year for which data is available—according to the Sentencing Project, a public-policy group. The population of white drug offenders rose 42.6 percent. Experts cited a decline in racial profiling and the waning of the crack cocaine epidemic.

Warning on hate groups
The recession could spark a surge in “right-wing extremist activity,” the Department of Homeland Security warned police departments around the country. The government also said fringe organizations were using the election of President Obama as a recruiting tool, and noted that gun sales had soared since the November election. Officials said they were not issuing the warning in response to any known threat.