Family

253 | Truth Never Dies

This week, we hear from Koby Bluitt, daughter of Leon Benson, a long time Indiana prisoner and organizer. She tells us about Leon, their relationship, and her current efforts to help him get free. We’ve covered Leon’s case on Kite Line before: a case of poor eyewitness testimony that helped convict the man of a…

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251 | Parole Illinois, Part Two

Last week, we heard from Kim, Shari, Lauren, Pablo and Brian about Parole Illinois, a group fighting to reinstate, as they put it, “earned discretionary reentry”. This is the last of a two-part conversation with them. In 1978, Illinois abolished discretionary parole system. Today, it remains one of just sixteen states (plus the District of…

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250 | Parole Illinois, Part One

We start this episode with our monthly list of prison disturbances compiled by Perilous Chronicle, an journalistic collective that tracks prisoner protests across the US and Canada. Afterwards, we share the first part of a conversation with people working with Parole Illinois, a group campaigning for a fair and inclusive parole system. In 1978, Illinois…

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171 | Families Speak Out Against the Gladiator Fights, Part Two

As we covered last week, prisoners in California have been subjected to a new and disturbing round of gladiator fights – conflicts between prisoners instigated by guards for their own amusement or to break down solidarity between different groups on the inside.  This week, we continue sharing a powerful conversation with three women whose husbands…

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170 | Families Speak Out Against the Gladiator Fights, Part One

Prisoners in California have been subjected to a new and disturbing round of gladiator fights – conflicts between prisoners instigated by guards for their own amusement or to break down solidarity between different groups on the inside. This week, we will begin sharing a powerful conversation with three women whose husbands have suffered from this…

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156 | Ona Move: Reflections From a MOVE Family

This week, we hear reflections from members of the MOVE Organization. Speaking at the 2019 Fight Toxic Prisons convergence, they give their thoughts on the past and current struggles of MOVE family members behind bars.  Mike Africa, Jr., who was born in prison, speaks about the MOVE Organization, and having his parents on the inside…

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154 | Close Dekalb County Jail

This week, we spoke with participants in the struggle to close Dekalb County jail in Atlanta, Georgia. They walked us through the launch of the movement there, when prisoners smuggled out photos of horrendous conditions inside, which were posted on social media by family members. Since then, a wide range of people have worked to…

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138 | Voices From the Grassroots

This week, we interview a participant in Perilous, a new prison history project. Perilous launched its website earlier this year, with a goal of compiling all the grassroots, collective mobilizations that have happened in US prisons since the prisoners’ movement seriously kicked off again in 2010. With this interview, we got a sense of their…

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135 | Prison Poetics

First, we have updates on the Vaughn 17 and hunger strikes and noise demonstrations from immigrant detention centers around the country. After the news, we share a conversation with Phillip Roberts and Debra Des Vignes.  Des Vignes is the founder of the Indiana Prison Writers Workshop, and Roberts participated in the project for almost a…

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117 | Voices of the Formerly Incarcerated, Part Three

This week, we share the final story from the Voices of the Formerly Incarcerated panel that took place during the Fight Toxic Prisons conference in Pittsburgh. After we hear updates on Kevin Rashid Johnson and Keith Malik Washington, we close with anecdotes from Wendell Caldwell. Caldwell speaks on his time inside, its impact on his…

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