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70 Million

70 Million

Author: LWC Studios

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This award-winning and Peabody-nominated podcast documents how locals are addressing the role of jails in their backyards. Reporters travel around the country and hear from people directly impacted by their encounter with jails and to chronicle the progress ground-up efforts have made in diversion, bail reform, recidivism, adoption of technology and other crucial aspects of the move toward decarceration at local levels.
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The newest narrative podcast from LWC Studios is out now! “Still Paying the Price: Reparations in Real Terms” is a 14-part series exploring how reparations should be paid and to whom. This podcast is meant to be enjoyed in an order that makes the most sense for our listeners. You can begin by listening to this episode or wherever you find your podcasts–-and start your own reparations exploration.For more information, all episodes, and transcripts visit StillPayingThePricePod.com.Original score by Kojin Tashiro. Cover art: "Gemini" by Fitgi Saint-Louis.This series was funded by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Currently, over 7 million people are under some form of carceral supervision in the United States–from custody to bail to probation. For our final episode, 70 Million reporter Mark Betancourt moderates a conversation about the role we, the public, play in creating and sustaining the matrix of incarceration as it exists today. He’s joined by Cornell professor Peter K. Enns, author of the book Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World, and Insha Rahman, Vice President of advocacy and partnerships at the Vera Institute.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
The commercial bail bond industry is privatized, consolidated – and estimated to be worth $2.4 billion dollars. People arrested in a state like California, the most expensive place to post bail, often end up in cycles of carceral debt that derail their lives. Reporter Sonia Paul follows one woman’s story – and talks to the organizers, politicians, and experts advocating for bail reform.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
School resource officers are often called upon in middle and high schools to help with routine discipline. But for many children, especially those with disabilities, a law enforcement response to their behavior can lead to the school-to-prison pipeline. Reporter Claire McInerny tells one family’s story in Texas.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
For four decades, testimony from jailhouse informants has been the source of public scandal in criminal cases across the U.S. Research shows juries find these witnesses credible, even when they know informants benefit from their cooperation with prosecutors. The impact of this practice is hard to calculate. Reporter Rhana Natour looks at critical cases in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California, to shed light on the issue.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the city of Los Angeles moved thousands of unhoused people into hotel rooms. The program, called Project Roomkey, was a temporary safety net during the national health emergency. But participants soon nicknamed it “Project No Key” because they felt more incarcerated than housed. Reporter Mark Betancourt chronicles their experience in part two of our series on how homelessness is criminalized. Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
In Los Angeles, thousands of people who live outside have to navigate the insecurities caused by homelessness, the ire of housed neighbors, and the city penalizing them for their circumstances. In one park, months of efforts to remove unhoused people culminated in a showdown with police. Reporter Mark Betancourt investigates in this episode, part one of a two-part series about the criminalization of homelessness.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Grand juries are supposed to safeguard against the government charging people with a crime when it lacks sufficient evidence. But because prosecutors control what happens in grand jury proceedings, they almost always get an indictment. That is, unless the accused is a police officer. Reporter Mark Betancourt explores a case of police brutality in Dallas that evaporated after going before a grand jury.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
In Brookside, Alabama, an eager new police chief, unsuspecting motorists, and a state-mandated loophole converged to create a nightmare for local residents—and generate piles of cash for the local government. Reporter Rhana Natour has the story.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
The US Constitution guarantees a right to trial to anyone accused of a crime, but less than 3 percent of criminal defendants get a trial. Instead, they’re regularly cornered into pleading guilty, sometimes admitting to a crime they didn’t commit. Reporter Mark Betancourt retraces one innocent man’s legal ordeal to explain why this happens. Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Weeks before the 2022 midterm elections, 70 Million creator and executive producer Juleyka Lantigua digs into the subject of criminal justice reform with three candidates from different parts of the country: Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Carolyn “Jiyoung” Park, and Durham County District Attorney, Satana DeBerry. All three spotlight inequities in policing and the courts, and call out areas in need of serious reform in the criminal justice system.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Looking back over five seasons, we’re so thankful to you, our listeners, for believing in this work, for sharing the episodes, and for including our reporting in your own work. Season 5 builds on the legacy of this Peabody Award-nominated podcast with fresh in-depth reporting and our characteristic rich narrative storytelling. This time we start with a thesis: the entire criminal justice system is rigged, top to bottom. Each episode goes deep into how local, regional, state and federal players tilt the scales of justice to benefit the powerful and suppress the powerless. Find more information—including transcripts and resource guides—and catch up on our past four seasons here.
A year ago, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize drug possession. The goal is to reverse some of the negative impacts of the War on Drugs by approaching drug use from a health-centered basis. We visit an addiction and recovery center in Portland that’s gearing up for what they hope will be an influx of people seeking treatment. Reported by Cecilia Brown.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Texas conservative lawmakers and bail reform advocates have long debated what bail reform can look like for those who cannot afford to bail themselves out of jail. Journalist Andrea Henderson looks closely at a new bail law some activists consider a setback. Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Police encounters during a mental health crisis have a greater chance of turning deadly if you're Black. New response mechanisms bypass law enforcement and result in helpful interventions. Reporter Jeneé Darden looks at how folks in Northern California are trying to reimagine crisis response services. Find a resource guide and annotated transcript on our website here.
Many organizers in St. Louis have given up on reforming the criminal legal system. Now, they’re working to abolish it. And they’re starting with the closure of one notorious jail. To reach their goal, they’ve decided to get involved in electoral politics. Reporter Chad Davis takes a look at what happens when you go from agitating from the outside to working with those in power. Co-reported with Carolina Hidalgo.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
A legal matrix that incentivizes criminal convictions can motivate unethical prosecutors to bend or break the rules. In New York, a group of law professors is trying to curb that by pushing the system to discipline its own. Reported by Nina Sparling.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
We wanted to see what has happened since we first reported on mental health interventions for arrestees in Miami, how the "bond angels" save lives in New Orleans, and what the digital police surveillance network called Project Greenlight has meant for Detroit. Reported by Danny Rivero, Eve Abrams and Sonia Paul. Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
This special roundtable of experts looks at how policing and incarceration practices are impacting COVID-19 rates in BIPOC communities around the country. Because being jailed means an increased risk of getting COVID-19, those released might unknowingly bring the virus home, putting their loved ones and communities at risk. Our editor, Jen Chien, moderates the conversation with Nicole Lewis, senior editor of the jurisprudence section at Slate Magazine, Eric Reinhart, medical anthropologist, psychoanalyst and resident physician at Northwestern University, and Alicia Virani, former public defender and current professor at UCLA School of Law. Produced by Lisa Bartfai.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
Nearly one in two Black women in the US have a loved one who has been impacted by our carceral system. Many become de facto civilian experts as a result. Some rise to lead as outside catalysts for change. And now, scores of Black women are joining the ranks—as officers of the court, police, judges—to manage and advance a system that has had such an outsized impact on their lives. Reported by Pamela Kirkland.Find a resource guide and annotated transcript at our website here.
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