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Justice In America

Justice In America

Author: The Appeal

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Justice in America, hosted by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith III, is a podcast for everyone interested in criminal justice reform— from those new to the system to experts who want to know more. Each episode we cover a new criminal justice issue. We explain how it works and look at its impact on people, particularly poor people and people of color. We’ll also interview activists, practitioners, experts, journalists, organizers, and others, to learn. By the end of the episode, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what drives mass incarceration and what can fix it.

The first season will cover bail, plea deals, prosecutors, prosecutor elections, voter disenfranchisement, crimmigration, women and families in the criminal justice system, and more. It will feature interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rashad Robinson, John Legend, Gina Clayton, John Pfaff, and more.
11 Episodes
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Episode 9: How Democrats and Republicans Created Mass Incarceration
There are a few schools of thought regarding the origins of mass incarceration. Some blame Reagan and his” war on drugs,” while others blame Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill. Meanwhile, movies like Ava Duvernay’s 13th have drawn the direct parallels between slavery, Jim Crow, and our racist incarceration system. Each of these theories is correct, at least in part. Yes, it is undoubtedly true that mass incarceration cannot be divorced from prior systems of racial subjugation in America. And yes, Reagan and Clinton helped to perpetuate mass incarceration. But in her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, our guest Elizabeth Hinton, a professor of History and African American studies at Harvard, argues that the modern roots of mass incarceration can be traced even further back, to president Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson, a Democrat, is famous for helping usher in key Civil Rights victories, from the Voting Rights Act to the Civil Rights Act. And he spent much of his tenure fighting for low-income Americans, implementing a series of domestic policies that he called the War on Poverty. But he also pushed for harsher punishments and a larger law enforcement presence, particularly in communities of color. Under Johnson, the federal government started pouring tons of money into local law enforcement, which gave them the tools they needed to lock up millions of people. On this episode, we discuss how both parties helped perpetuate mass incarceration in the years immediately following the Civil Rights movement. We also discuss why it is that, during the 70s and 80s, black elected officials were some of the most ardent supporters of mass incarceration. Professor Hinton joins us to talk about how both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the mass incarceration system we have today. For more information and resources please visit theappeal.org
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Comments (3)

Timothy Hayden

trace evidence

Oct 3rd
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Lydie E. Glynn

great episode. highly informative, thorough and addresses very significant issues.

Sep 2nd
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Kirsten Baumhover

Thank you for making such an important and timely podcast, with powerful content and great information. Keep fighting the good fight, and I'm sharing this will friends and family so the message an spread!!

Aug 18th
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