Meha Ahmad, Daniel Tucker
April 18, 2018
In the early 2000s, the Illinois Department of Corrections spent an average of $750,000 a year on books for prisons. Last year, it spent just $276 dollars. Research suggests that’s not a winning strategy for preventing recidivism because many inmates rely on books to figure out how to reshape their lives after their release.
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Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells From WBEZ
Written Inside is a podcast about life inside a maximum-security prison cell. Adapted from essays written at Stateville Correctional Center near Chicago, these intimate stories speak to the everyday experience of being incarcerated. Each inmate's story is voiced by a Chicago actor. Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced by WBEZ Chicago.
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Podcast: Some Cook County Judges Often Deny Public Defenders When Defendants Post Bond - Heffernan WBEZ
Peter McCray sat in a Cook County courtroom in June after being charged with illegal possession of a prescription painkiller — a felony. He faced up to three years in prison.
He knew he had to pay $1,000 to get out of jail until his case was resolved. But what he didn’t know is that some Cook County judges often deny access to a free court-appointed lawyer, known as a public defender, once bond is posted. McCray got one of those judges.
WBEZ recently went to numerous courtrooms throughout Cook County and saw some judges routinely deny a public defender based on whether a defendant posted bond, a practice that some legal experts said is unconstitutional. This practice can add further financial burdens on cash-strapped defendants and even compromise their access to a fair trial, lawyers and criminal justice advocates said. Judges were advised by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans in 2013 to stop denying public defenders purely on whether a defendant posted bond, but some judges have ignored Evans.
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Meet the Creators of the New Podcast From Inside San Quentin Prison
The inmate-produced show will tell intimate stories of daily life behind bars.
“Ear Hustle” — the phrase is slang for eavesdropping — is a collaboration between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, both prisoners at San Quentin, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist who teaches photography classes at the prison. Williams, 29, has served more than 10 years on a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. Woods, 45, has served more than 19 years of a 31-years–to-life sentence for attempted second-degree robbery. Their chemistry is one of the best parts of the show: the three share a deep rapport that is at times funny, frank, and raw.
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What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive