College Behind Bars
PBS A film by Lynn Novick.
Stream all episodes November 25 at 9/8c.
Explore the transformative power of education through the eyes of a dozen incarcerated men and women trying to earn college degrees – and a chance at new beginnings – from one of the country’s most rigorous prison education programs.
#AirGo! Episode 211
AirGo Radio brings you Monica Cosby: organizer, activist, and mother who was incarcerated for 20 years in the state of Illinois. She now works for the Westside Justice Center, is the lead organizer of Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, and is a wonderful and valuable spirit in the Chicago movement community. She talks about growing up in Uptown, the lessons about liberation and abolition she learned while inside, the transition after coming home, and a very special moment that makes Damon cry.
Check it out on Apple Podcasts here: https://podcasts.apple.com/…/ep-211-monica-co…/id1016530091…
Ankle monitors can hold captives in invisible jails of debt, pain and bugged conversations
Tools that began with the promise of releasing Americans are now shackling many who would otherwise have been set free.
Think by Albert Fox Cahn
Nov 6, 2019
Increasingly, American jails are built without bars, razor wire or even guards. Instead, 21st century prisons are built from data. More and more, inmates are confined not by physical buildings but by GPS monitors, radio-frequency trackers and an array of other electronic monitoring. But make no mistake, electronic monitoring can feel every bit the prison as its brick-and-mortar counterpart.
The first time I stepped into a courtroom was because of electronic monitoring, the increasingly common form of surveillance used in lieu of posting bail or being held in jail, or as part of parole. It was in 2012, and I was a third-year Harvard law student representing a client at a courthouse in inner-city Boston. I shakily approached the lectern and delivered my argument, explaining why my client should be released from jail and put on electronic monitoring while he awaited trial. Whether through persuasion or (more likely) pity, it worked.
Ex-felons vote in Florida after overcoming prison - and the GOP
NBC News byElizabeth Janowski and Jane C. Timm
Nov. 2, 2019
Desmond Meade can't vote in Orlando's mayoral contest. But he'll be in the city on Saturday anyway, cheering as hundreds of recently reinfranchised ex-felons and their families head to the polls together.
Meade, the organizer who lead a campaign to amend Florida's Constitution and restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony convictions, called the party "a celebration of expanding our democracy." He has three felony convictions of his own, acquired during years of drug addiction. Just the thought of voting again, he said, "brings tears to my eyes."
But after the festivities, he has to return to work.
Since it was overwhelming passed by voters last year, the constitutional amendment Meade and his group, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, fought for has spurred legislation and litigation over differences of opinion in how to interpret and implement it. The FRRC has renewed its educational efforts, kicking off a a 23-city bus tour Saturday to register eligible ex-felons and raise awareness about a fund to help people pay off fines and fees associated with their convictions — an issue at the heart of the latest legal battle voting rights advocates have waged over restrictions lawmakers put in place that could still keep thousands from accessing the ballot box.
More than 450 Oklahoma inmates released in largest single-day commutation in U.S. history
CBS News by Victoria Albert
Nov. 4, 2019
More than 450 inmates in Oklahoma were released Monday, a representative from the Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt's office told CBS News, marking the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history. Video and photos from outside the state's prisons show former inmates tearfully reuniting with their loved ones upon release.
Patrina Hunt, who served almost half of a 10-year sentence for drug possession and theft, was among one of those inmates. The 22-year-old cried in her daughter's arms after her release.
"I'm very blessed to let this happen and for this to happen for me and my family, and I'm just so glad to see my family," Hunt told CBS News' Omar Villafranca.
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Prisoners are Fighting California's Wildfires on the Front Lines, But Getting Little in Return
Fortune By Nicole Goodkind
Nov 1, 2019
As multiple deadly wildfires in California, stoked by dry weather and 65 MPH winds, threaten to destroy thousands of homes across the state, 2,150 prison inmates are battling on the front lines to tame the flames.
The prisoners earn between $2.90 and $5.12 per day, plus an additional $1 per hour during active emergency for their potentially life-threatening efforts. The firefighters they work alongside earn an average of $91,000 each year before overtime pay and bonuses.
The Conservation Camp Program, officially established in 1945, is estimated to save California taxpayers about $100 million each year. Prisoners work on hand crews, constructing firebreaks by using tools like chainsaws and picks. During active fires, they work for 24-hour periods followed by 24 hours of rest.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive