History

309 | Captives with Jarrod Shanahan, Part One

This week, Bella Bravo speaks with Jarrod Shanahan, a writer, activist, and professor of Criminal Justice based in Chicago. Shanahan has been on previous episodes, discussing mass incarceration and the George Floyd rebellion. We are speaking today about his new book Captives: How Rikers Island Took New York City Hostage. Captives recounts the last seventy years of…

Read More

297 | No Choice But Poisoned Water

For our show this week, Micol Seigel talks to Abby Cuniff. Cuniff is a reporter who recently published an article about arsenic contamination in Kern Valley State Prison in California. In this conversation, they talk about the prevalence of arsenic in California’s Central Valley – including in its prisons. She also describes the impact of…

Read More

292 | The 1985 Pendleton Uprising

In this week’s episode, we air the final part of a conversation between Jok from Focus Initiatives and Rodney Jones, known as Big R. Big R was a witness to the beating that sparked the 1985 Pendleton prison uprising here in Indiana. In previous episodes, they discussed the circumstances that led up to the beating,…

Read More

291 | Uncovering White Supremacist Violence

In this week’s episode, we air the second part of a conversation between Jok Huerta from Focus Initiatives and Rodney Jones, known as Big R. Big R was a witness to the beating that sparked the the 1985 Pendleton prison uprising here in Indiana. This conversation is part of a series put on by IDOC Watch and…

Read More

284 | Russell Maroon Shoatz, In His Own Words

This week, we honor the late Russell Maroon Shoatz. On December 17th, Russell Maroon Shoatz passed away. In 1970, Shoatz was convicted for the murder of a police officer in Pennsylvania and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On February 20, 2014, Shoatz was returned to the prison’s general population after…

Read More

283 | Revolutionaries in Isolation

This week, Mwalimu Shakur calls us from inside Corcoran prison in California to share his experiences in the Secure Housing Unit. He’s been on the show before, talking about the gladiator fights used by guards to punish and control the imprisoned population. Housed in Corcoran for decades, he describes how he kept going under such…

Read More

282 | Carceral Nonprofits

We are sad to report that Russell Maroon Shoatz, who was recently granted compassionate release after his decades in prison, has passed away. This week, we return to the final part of our conversation about carceral non-profits with Zhandarka Kurti and Jarrod Shanahan. Kurti is a professor of criminology and Criminal Justice at Loyola University…

Read More

270 | A Slightly Bigger Cage – Jail Expansion for Monroe County

In 2008, Monroe County moved to build a new, expanded jail -framed as a “justice campus” using humanitarian rhetoric.  In response, a diverse group of local residents founded an organization called Decarcerate Monroe County (DMC).  Here is how they later summarized their activities:“DMC’s framework included embracing alternatives to punitive justice, promoting ways to decarcerate, and…

Read More

269 | A Perfect Storm – Conditions at Attica

This month, we are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, a high point of the cycle of prisoners’ struggle of the 1960s and 1970s. We share experiences from former Attica prisoners Joseph Hayden and Carlos Roche, and attorney Elizabeth Fink, who all describe the events of that day and the days leading…

Read More

268 | The Attica Commune

Three years ago on Kite Line, we aired an episode about the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971. This week, September 9th to September 13th, will mark fifty years between us and the event. We share this piece again today, with updated contributions from its author, analyzing the growing challenges to our collective survival, both inside…

Read More