show episodes
 
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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show series
 
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 b…
 
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 …
 
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 t…
 
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 …
 
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, m…
 
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…
 
The saying goes that “justice delayed is justice denied.” One part of Illinois’ judicial system has had an outsized role in delaying justice for decades: the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Home to Chicago, Cook County’s court system is massive, with more than a dozen courthouses generating millions of records. And in the records disarray, …
 
There’s a place in rural St. Johns, Arizona, where teens who have encounters with officers of the law can play pool, make music, and get mentored instead of going to jail. It’s called The Loft, and it’s the brainchild of a judge who wanted to save the county hundreds of millions of dollars and divert young people towards the support many were not g…
 
Peabody Award-nominated podcast 70 Million is coming back for our fourth season! Join us for more in-depth reporting and rich narrative storytelling from communities impacted by the carceral complex. We'll bring you updates from previous seasons and new dispatches from the frontlines of criminal legal system reform. First episode launches September…
 
When jails across the country began releasing thousands of people amid the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year, and mass demonstrations against police brutality brought millions out of their homes, criminal reform advocates wondered if they'd finally see significant and lasting reform. Journalist Renata Sago reports on two Florida jails that are ha…
 
Our friends at Future Hindsight just launched Season 12! Future Hindsight is a weekly podcast that aims to spark civic engagement through in-depth conversations with citizen changemakers. Season 12 is full of thought-provoking, visionary and practical ideas that help us reimagine our future in a post pandemic and post Trump world. It covers everyth…
 
In California, so-called quality of life laws criminalize panhandling, living in cars, and blocking sidewalks. Reporter Sarah McClure chronicles how arresting homeless individuals entangles them in a cycle of poverty and incarceration—and how three groups are breaking the cycle. This episode talks about some troubling details, which involve gun vio…
 
In Alaska, rising violent crime and substance abuse across the state have also increased incarceration rates among Native Americans. Making use of their legal sovereignty, some Alaska Native leaders issue “blue tickets,” documents that sentence offenders to legal expulsion. Journalist Emily Schwing reports on the consequences and cultural impact of…
 
Sean Wesley knew he had Hepatitis C when he started serving his prison sentence in Louisiana, and spent years trying to get treatment. Despite an innovative arrangement between a drug manufacturer and the state's Department of Corrections, he was transferred from facility to facility, and even finished his sentence, without ever receiving proper ca…
 
Over the past few years, voters across the U.S.have elected prosecutors who promised to implement much-needed criminal justice reforms, from decriminalizing marijuana to ending cash bail. Journalist Ruxandra Guidi revisits her reporting on the election of a new prosecutor in Houston two years ago, and chronicles how activists, relatives of incarcer…
 
From DCP Entertainment, "Say Their Name" is a documentary series that focuses on the assault and killing of unarmed Black people by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states. It highlights incidents throughout the United States, memorializing these individuals through the words of the people that knew them best and helping us understand the aftermat…
 
Kirsten made her way out of jail and addiction with the help of a special court on the Penobscot Nation reservation in Maine. There, culture and justice work together to bypass traditional punitive measures for more restorative ones. Reporter Lisa Bartfai visits the Healing to Wellness Court to see how it all works. Sign up for our newsletter today…
 
The Trump administration has issued numerous policies to systematically dismantle asylum as a legal right. They're also locking up asylum seekers for months or years, until they either win their case, are returned to their home countries, or self deport. Reporters Valeria Fernández and Jude Joffe-Block follow two asylum seekers as they endure deten…
 
Reporter Sonia Paul takes us to Detroit, where 80% of residents are Black, and examines the tools, models and methods changing the nature of policing in the city — from the rise of live-streamed surveillance to facial recognition technology. She investigates their impact on residents, and implications for overpoliced communities of color across the…
 
A year ago, Illinois passed a law requiring all jails to ensure that pre-trial detainees have an opportunity to vote. Chicago’s Cook County Jail was turned into a polling place during the 2019 primaries. Sheriff Tom Dart is an enthusiastic supporter of the program. And advocates like Amani Sawari are working to ensure voters in custody are informed…
 
James Howard III was arrested this spring and sent to Chicago’s Cook County Jail a few weeks into the state's coronavirus lockdown. Crowded, unsanitary, and with little means of social distancing, the single-site jail experienced a rapid outbreak of COVID-19. Mark Betancourt reports on the unprecedented steps officials took to control the outbreak,…
 
We produced something beautiful for Macmillan Podcasts!! Introducing Driving the Green Book, a ten-part documentary series premiering September 15. Follow award-winning BBC broadcaster Alvin Hall as he retraces many of the locations featured in the historic travel guide. From Detroit to New Orleans, Hall takes us on an immersive audio journey, coll…
 
Drug felony charges have more than doubled in Colorado as the state faces an opioid crisis. Jail admissions are on the rise in some counties. While diversion efforts are proving effective in others. But jails have also become “the dumping ground” for people with mental illness who are arrested. We visit one county that wants to use it’s jail less a…
 
After someone is arrested, there are multiple court-ordered actions after they make bail. Often, missing any of these--especially court appearances--complicates their situation and increases their punishment. Reporter Jenny Casas goes to Palm Beach, Florida, where something as simple as texting has made a significant difference in people’s lives.…
 
If you haven’t already listened to Part 1 of this story, we suggest you do that first. In 2013, the Texas Jail Project gets a call from Bonnie Wyndham -- a mother whose daughter, Cat, is pregnant behind bars and not getting the medical care TJP has been fighting to guarantee. In this episode, we hear Cat’s story. Plus, nearly 15 years after their c…
 
At 17, Mark Denny was wrongfully convicted of a rape and robbery in Brooklyn. It took nearly 30 years for that conviction to be overturned -- and it might never have happened without help from the same office that prosecuted him. Reporter Sabine Jansen tells the story of the Brooklyn Conviction Review Unit, the DAs who re-investigate their colleagu…
 
Five years after Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer galvanized criminal justice reform activists in St. Louis, they're gaining serious momentum to shut down the city's notorious Workhouse jail. Reporter Carolina Hidalgo spent time with the Close the Workhouse campaign and Arch City Defenders, their supporters, and detractors. UP…
 
Tamiki Banks’ life was turned upside down when her husband was arrested, leaving her the sole breadwinner and caregiver to their twins. More than two years later, she’s still struggling, and he’s still in custody, even though he hasn’t been convicted of any crime. From Atlanta, Pamela Kirkland reports on the heavy burden women of color like Tamiki …
 
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, known as I/DD, are overrepresented behind bars. One reason is that police officers, lawyers, and correctional staff don’t always know how to meet their needs. Reporter Cheryl Green brings us to Oregon, where case managers translate their needs for a system that’s not set up to accommodate the…
 
For years, to fund itself New Orleans’ criminal legal system has relied on bail, fines and fees levied on the city’s poorest. But there are signs of change in the horizon, with a groundswell of community action and two landmark federal rulings in the last year. Reporter Eve Abrams takes us inside some of the big shifts happening in the Big Easy.…
 
As of this week, our second season is a Peabody Awards nominee!! Reporters who take a closer look at communities and programs trying bold solutions to solve big problems in criminal justice. (70 Million is made possible by a grant from the Safety and Justice Challenge at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.) Reporters who take a close…
 
To close out season one, we invited two legal experts, Christina Swarns, President and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York and Scott Hechinger, Senior Staff Attorney & Dir. of Policy at the Brooklyn Defender Services, to look at what it would mean for the United States to provide financial reparations for individu…
 
New Orleans could become the battleground for bail reform. The city has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world. And most people are there because they can’t pay their bail. The current arrangement with the local bail industry gives the impression that judges there could have a financial conflict of interest when setting bail…
 
This episode is a special collaboration with Miami’s WLRN radio station, whose reporters Nadege Green and Daniel Rivero report on the county’s Criminal Mental Health Project which has been instrumental in diverting mentally ill people away from jail. They meet the judge to started the program and see how counselors, peer specialists, and officers a…
 
A handful of companies are making millions off ankle monitors strapped to undocumented immigrants in ICE custody. The makers pitch the monitors as an alternative to being jailed, but are they simply another form of bondage? Reporter Ryan Katz looks at what life is life while wearing one of these monitors. He untangles the complicated web of ICE, im…
 
In Massachusetts, Gloucester PD started an "angel program" to help people in the grip of opioid addiction get help. Instead of arresting people for opioid-related crimes, police directed them to treatment programs and resources. The angel program eventually grew into PAARI, the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative. It’s now a national …
 
By age 17, over half of young people in foster care have already been convicted of a crime or spent a night in jail. After they age out, a quarter will go to jail or get in trouble with the law within the first two years. California is determined to keep foster youth out of jail. Reporter Liza Veale profiles two young people who are making their wa…
 
Oklahoma locks up women and girls at a higher rate than anywhere else in the US. Black mothers bear the burden of this crisis, which can curtail accessing public benefits and lower the chances of keeping their children. But a promising new public defender's office in Tulsa have found a way to change some women’s fates. Reporter Nissa Rhee goes insi…
 
Activists in Houston were galvanized by events in Ferguson in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown. First, they took to the streets in protest. Then they started organizing. Not long after, they found a kindred spirit in the most unlikely person: a candidate for the DA office. Reporter Ruxandra Guidi chronicles how activists and reformers are …
 
For veterans, run-ins with the law don’t always have to mean jail time. Thanks to Veterans Court in Boston, which helps in finding treatment for PTSD, getting sober, and finding work. Reporter Heidi Shin talks to an Iraq and Afghanistan vet about his struggles with alcohol and PTSD, and his experience through the Veterans Court program. Heidi also …
 
In Pima County, where Tucson is located, formerly incarcerated individuals and local government officials have joined efforts to send fewer people to jail. Meanwhile, a federal program designed to stop drug and human trafficking at the border is also sending people to jail for months over traffic violations and minor drug offenses. Reporter Jesse A…
 
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