Archive for the ‘Incarceration’ Category

June
Peace! This episode kicks off with a round table discussion with Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, Corey Rinehart, Trevor Baptiste, and Camilla Carpio, surrounding the upcoming celebration Juneteenth happening this Wednesday, June 19th 1-7pm in Amherst town commons. Juneteenth observes the June 19th, 1865, proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The inter-generational event in Amherst celebrates freedom for people of all backgrounds, with a focus on its meaning for today’s youth. As youth leader of the Multicultural Student Achievement Network in Amherst powerfully puts it, the event functions to mobilize a powerful, rooted community that supersedes ‘diversity’ with an understanding of power that demands self-determination for people of color on the ground, not just on paper.

Our second hour, veteran TRGGR associate Rosa Clemente joined us to analyze the the first
comprehensive study of marijuana possession and arrest rates by race for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted by the ACLU. In 2010, there was one marijuana arrest every 37 seconds, and states spent over $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws that year alone. Yet what do these shocking statistics mean when contextualized in the larger War on Drugs and the Prison Industrial Complex? Rosa explains how more and more people and institutions are debunking the myths. Long-established policing procedures that transform drugs, race and crime rhetoric into arrests are increasingly questioned in public spheres. Check out Rosa’s interview with ACLU director Ezekiel Elliot with links to the report here: $3.6 Million Dollar Nickel Bag
Part 1:

Part 2:

Edward Said Mural SFSU

on this new episode…

local
update on charles wilhite case
update on springfield no one leaves recent victory
the crossing borders tour 2013

national
aclu and felony disfranchisement
nola police shooting
the new jane crow
and more…

Part 1:

Part 2:

TRGGR RADIO: Eight years strong at the intersection of hip-hop, radical education, and the anti-prison movement

photo: Edward Said Mural, San Francisco State University. credit: C. Tinson

Sister Helen Prejean recently visited Hampshire College to give a talk on her life and work as an anti-death penalty activist. Prior to her lecture she sat down with Aurelis Troncoso and Tesh Pimentel, members of student organization, the Decolonize Media Collective, a group for which TRGGR co-founder Chris Tinson serves as faculty advisor.

In what Sister Helen called “the best radio interview she’s ever done,” Aurelis and Tesh ask about her background as an activist and public advocate for the oppressed and incarcerated, and get her thoughts on a range of issues including alarming rates of women’s imprisonment, the school-to-prison pipeline, education for empowerment, and the historical relationship between enslavement and the death penalty. Props to these up-and-coming media activists for their first interview!

About Sister Helen: Sister Helen Prejean is a death penalty activist, helping to shape the Catholic Church’s opposition to state executions. She is the author of Dead Man Walking, an account of her relationship with death row inmate Patrick Sonnier, which became an Academy Award-winning movie, an opera, and a play. Prejean divides her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. She also authored The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, released by Random House in December of 2004, and is presently at work on another book.

About the DMC: The Decolonize Media Collective (DMC) is a student of color collective (and their allies) dedicated to promoting domestic and international social justice struggles through media. We view media as a critical site of struggle over issues of race, identity, class, gender and power.

Event date: September 20, 2012
Location: Hampshire College Media Basement

Run time: 25:31


Image credit: Susan Willmarth (Thanks Lois!)

Since the late 1990s, the rate of women’s incarceration nationally has doubled that of incarcerated men. In 1980, there were roughly 14,000 women incarcerated nationally; by 2008 that number was well over 200,000. Although the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has the lowest rate of women imprisonment in the country (currently at 13 out of every 100,000 people), its population of incarcerated women and mothers is growing.

As of 2010, over 60% of “women in prison in the Commonwealth had been found guilty of nonviolent crimes such as drug and property offenses.” Currently there is a Bill before the Massachusetts legislature (H 2234) that “would establish minimum standards for the treatment and medical care of female inmates to promote safe, healthy pregnancy outcomes, prohibit shackling during childbirth, and ensure that release planning includes child custody and basic family planning information and services.”

According to the Bill’s Factsheet, “Nearly two-thirds of women in prison are mothers, and 77% of incarcerated mothers report providing most of the daily care for their children before incarceration. Further, according to the Bureau of Justice in 2007, 5% of women who enter into state prisons are pregnant, and 6% of women in jails are pregnant.”

The backgrounds, experiences, and needs of these women pre- and post-incarceration require our attention if we are to reverse these trends. Groups such as the Rebecca Project, the National Women’s Law Center, and locally the Prison Birth Project and The Real Cost of Prisons, among numerous other groups, have been crucial in bringing to public light the range of issues facing incarcerated women. A newly formed Boston-based organization, Families for Justice as Healing, seeks to “organize and mobilize families of those incarcerated for drug related offenses to join the movement toward creating criminal justice legislation that heals and rebuilds families and communities.” Joining us on the phone to talk about their work is the organization’s founder, Andrea James.

In part two of the show we speak with Vera Cage of the Justice for Charles Wilhite campaign based in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Part 1: featuring Andrea James

Part 2: Charles Wilhite updates, Juneteenth Celebration, Race and Politics