For our show this week, we have the first part of a conversation between Kite Line’s Micol Seigel and three members of the Carbondale, Illinois community: Chastity, Kim, and Nick. They speak about the ongoing struggle for the use of the Eurma C Hayes Community Center
Originally opened by the city as a space for youth, the city later defunded the Eurma C Hayes Center and put the responsibility on community groups to steward the building. Now Carbondale politicians are proposing converting it to a police substation. In this first of two parts, three Carbondale residents speak about why they oppose police being put there, and the conflation of an idea of “security” with so-called community resource officers, who often function as agents of punishment and trauma for teens in local schools. They talk about the racial bias shown in punishment during school and how it relates to the incarceration of people of color. They also tell us about the current conditions in the nearby Menard Prison where they have incarcerated loved ones, and how important re-entry options have been limited in recent years, continuing a cycle of loss and trauma for many people in the area.