Tracking the impact of the prison system on the economy

by Emily Widra One of the most popular parts of our 2003 book The Prison Index: Taking the Pulse of the Crime Control Industryconcerns the economic power of the criminal justice system. I updated three of the graphs and concepts from that book: Bureau of Justice Statistics data on the number of justice system employees was […]

The Sinister Psychology behind Incarceration

Originally, the punishment for committing a crime comes by a conscious nature and as a result of peer pressure and the public violation of social norms. Stealing resulted in the criminal working off the debt and hopefully learning a hard lesson. Assault on someone got the “eye for an eye” treatment, and murder ended in […]

Street-level constitutional experts

by Taru Taylor Slave patrols prevented slave revolts, captured runaway slaves and kept watch on “free” Blacks. They policed the South. In many jurisdictions, notably Charleston, South Carolina, slave patrols morphed into the official police force. Slave patrols went obsolete after the Civil War. So why does American apartheid persist despite the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth […]

Maya Moore Talks Mass Incarceration

We speak to a WNBA MVP and one of the greatest hoopsters to ever live: Maya Moore. We talk about her recent efforts to raise awareness about prosecutorial misconduct and mass incarceration. Later on the show, we have some Choice Words about Amazon’s sleazy search for a new corporate home and how stadium scams paved […]

Prison Radio Kommentaries

Loaded: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Takes Aim at 2nd Amendment (3:57) On historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s book about America’s obsession with the 2nd Amendment Mumia Abu-Jamal Rape Nation (3:01) Mumia speaks on the potential power for change led by women. Mumia Abu-Jamal Roy: Just a Good Ole Boy (2:19) A weigh-in on the implications of the Roy Moore scandal. […]

Contradictions of White Supremacy

by Margaret Kimberley Freedom Rider: Contradictions of White Supremacy   “Very few white Americans stray far from this country’s racist origins.” American media have a collective crush on avowed racists. The New York Times is only the most recent perpetrator with their now maligned profile of an Ohio Nazi . The kid glove approach was too obvious and readers rose […]

Gabourey Sidibe Makes Her Directorial Debut In This New Short Film

  “The Tale of Four” is a film inspired by Nina Simone’s “Four Women” and tells the story of multi-faced black women fighting for justice. On the cusp of her memoir that dropped in May, actor and author Gabourey Sidibe has now added “director” to her talented titles. In partnership with Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology—a film series that gives 12 […]

The Rise of Incarceration in Los Angeles: An Interview with Kelly Lytle Hernandez

By Erica Sterling In today’s post, Erica Sterling, a PhD student in the Department of History at Harvard University, interviews Kelly Lytle Hernandez about her new book City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Hernandez is Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche […]

HISTORY + AUDIO: How the convict labor of Black women built the new South

Historian Talitha LeFlouria examines the incarcerated labor of Black women in Reconstruction-era Georgia – work that rebuilt the South’s infrastructure and industrial economy under brutal conditions, enabled by the social language and legal mechanisms around Black lives that persist in America’s modern mass incarceration complex. Talitha is author of the book Chained in Silence: Black Women and […]