Problems have been festering for years at North Carolina’s state prisons. A fatal 2017 attack on officers at a Pasquotank County prison helped push the issue into the headlines. The latest Carolina Journal cover story focuses on the issue. Associate Editor Kari Travis discusses key findings from her investigation. Two recent federal law enforcement investigations have focused on the major protagonists in the 2016 presidential election. Andrew McCarthy, senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a former federal prosecutor, says the two investigations present a major contrast. While the investigation linked to Donald Trump has been aggressive, the one involving Hillary Clinton amounted to “kid-glove” treatment. McCarthy explains why this contrast presents problems for federal law enforcement and our system of government. State lawmakers continue to debate the best way to select judges in North Carolina. You’ll hear highlights from a recent N.C. Senate proposal that would replace judicial elections with an appointment process involving the state Supreme Court chief justice, the General Assembly, and the governor. As N.C. lawmakers consider potential changes to the state’s public school funding formula, some of them want to ensure that local school systems get as much flexibility as possible. Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke, made that point during a meeting of the legislative task force exploring school funding. You’ll hear Blackwell’s comments and reaction from Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies. Hospital mergers have generated headlines in recent weeks. UNC Health Care and the former Carolinas HealthCare System, now known as Atrium, are pursuing a partnership that has raised red flags for some observers. Atrium is also pursuing a merger with a Georgia hospital system. Katherine Restrepo, John Locke Foundation director of health care policy, discusses pros and cons of hospital mergers. Restrepo focuses on the potential impact for health care consumers in North Carolina.