History

213 | George Jackson and the Legacy of Revolt

Today, August 21st, is the 49th anniversary of George Jackson’s murder by San Quentin guards.  Jackson was a leading theorist and militant in the prisoners’ movement which had emerged over the previous decade in close relationship to the rise of Black Power.  His books, Soledad Brother and Blood in my Eye, remain touchstones for prisoners’ discussions across the…

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212 | The Crisis Behind a Hot American Summer

This week, Bella Bravo speaks to Zhandarka Kurti and Jarrod Shanahan. Kurti is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Tennesee in Knoxville, and also works with Face to Face Knox, a campaign to restore in-person visitation to Knox County detention centers.  Shanahan is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Governors State…

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209 | For the Sake of Knowledge Alone

We return this week to the second part of the conversation between Kristina Byers and Anastazia Schmid. Schmid is an award-winning, formerly incarcerated scholar who went to extraordinary lengths to complete her education on the inside. We last heard Schmid describe the impact of Ball State University, which she attended while in the Indiana Women’s…

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208 | What’s Going on is Nothing New- Prisoners on State Violence and the Rebellion

We will continue the final installment of the interview between Kristina Byers and Anastazia Schmid next week, as they talk about barriers to education while incarcerated. This week, though, we received urgent calls. Faheem Shabazz is a longtime whistleblower and militant inside the Indiana prison system, who was released in 2018. He has been targeted…

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206 | From Watts to Minneapolis, The Arc of Anti-Police Protest

In this episode, we have two updates from prisoners in California on their conditions amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Afterwards, we speak with Max Felker-Kantor, historian and professor at Ball State University. Felker-Kantor’s particular focus of study is policing and anti-police violence post WWII. He’s been on Kite Line before, talking about the history of policing…

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187 | The End of Policing

This week, we focus on the history of police in the United States, and the concept of community policing. Alex Vitale, author of the new book, “The End of Policing” shares his research about the origins of modern police, and the inadequate ways that police respond to community issues. Prison abolition often focuses primarily on…

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181 | Weed and Seed

The Federal government rolled out the weed and seed program in the early 1990s in response to a new wave of urban uprisings. It placed social services under police control, so that cops could first “weed,” (i.e. remove undesirable elements) and then “seed” by distributing resources, following a classic model of counter-insurgency. Two decades were…

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163 | The Business of Incarceration: A Conversation with Craig Gilmore

This week, we speak on the phone with writer and prison abolitionist Craig Gilmore, who begins by discussing his recent piece in Commune Magazine. The article, “The Business of Incarceration” is a review of American Prison, a critically acclaimed 2018 book by Shane Bauer. In his conversation with us, Gilmore critiques the book’s thesis on private…

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161 | A History of Cook County Jail

For this week’s episode, we share a conversation between Melanie D. Newport and Anne Gray Fisher. They talk about the history of Cook County Jail- the largest facility in the country. Melanie D. Newport is an Assistant Professor of US History at the University of Connecticut-Hartford. Her work explores the criminal justice system in the…

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146 | Appealing the Death Penalty- A Conversation with Zolo Azania, Part Two

This week, we return to our conversation with Zolo Agona Azania, who was recently released after surviving decades on Indiana’s death row.  In the second part of the conversation, he talks about researching the death penalty and appealing his death penalty sentence. The efforts of Azania, his lawyers and supporters helped to successfully free him…

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