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The Infectious Myth – Stand Your Ground with Marissa Alexander – 05.30.17

Marissa Alexander, a licensed gun owner, fired a warning shot at her estranged husband when he had her cornered in her own garage. The shot worked. He left, and neither of them was harmed. But she was charged and sentenced to 20 years. Defenses of self-defense didn’t work, not even invoking Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Public pressure eventually persuaded …

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This Can’t Be Happening – 03.30.17

Host Dave Lindorff updates the case of incarcerated black journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been left untreated by Pennsylvania prison authorities for two years with a virulent case of active Hepatitis-C he contracted in prison, explaining that an Appellate Court just shot-down an effort by the Department of Corrections to delay giving him needed medicine indefinitely until the court could hear his case. Lindorff also talks about the need to move from fighting to defend Obamacare to fighting for Medicare for all. Also on the program, guest Chris Goldstein, communications director of Philadelphia NORML, talks about the federal government’s efforts to bar financial aid to college students busted for even minor drug offenses.

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Sarah Lazare – The Scandal of Chemical Weapons in U.S. Prisons

Originally launched as a tool of trench combat during World War I, tear gas has been used around the world over the past century to enforce colonial rule, quell popular protests and aid in ethnic cleansing of civilians. This “riot control agent” was banned as a “method of war” by the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty that went …

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Half of the world’s prison population of about nine million is held in the US, China or Russia.

Prison rates in the US are the world’s highest, at 724 people per 100,000. In Russia the rate is 581. At 145 per 100,000, the imprisonment rate of England and Wales is at about the midpoint worldwide. Many of the lowest rates are in developing countries, but overcrowding can be a serious problem. Kenyan prisons have an occupancy level of …

lizbirge – Judge Releases Innocent Mothers and Children From Jail-Like Texas Detention Centers

When is a child care center not a child care center? When it operates like a jail. That was the ruling of a Texas state judge when he released hundreds of women and children from detention centers after agreeing with critics that it was inhumane to restrain them while seeking asylum—and an inappropriate place for children, to boot. Read more

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Christina Sarich – REVOLUTIONARY PRISON SYSTEM TEACHES ORGANIC FARMING TO FIGHT RECIDIVISM

Philadelphia, PA — Philadelphia’s prison system fights recidivism with butternut squash. While over-incarceration does nothing to make America safer, at least one state is working to make sure that inmates learn a skill that has been proven to keep them from returning to prison – organic farming. Even the setting of the small prison farm is an odd juxtaposition to the …

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Jamiles Lartey – Women in jails are the fastest growing incarcerated population, study says

Women held in local jails represent the fastest growing population of incarcerated people in the US, according to a new study. The researchers found that trauma, sexual violence and mental health issues were all closely wrapped up with the swelling numbers. “While we started to see a decline in the incarceration and jailing of men, we haven’t seen a comparable …

Black Lives Matter protesters argue with a man outside a restaurant during a protest in downtown Atlanta, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in response to the police shooting deaths of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla. and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Eileen Cronin – Time to Include the Disability Community in News Conversations on Police Brutality

What did Keith Lamont Scott, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald and Freddie Gray have in common? If your answer is that they are African-Americans who died in police custody, then you are partially correct. What is less known is that each of these individuals had a disability. They represent only a few of the highly publicized incidences of police brutality involving …

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Mainstream Outlets Have Not Covered A Major Nationwide Prison Strike

On September 9, inmates at prisons in at least 12 states began work stoppages and other protest actions to draw attention to unfair labor practices and living conditions in U.S. prisons. The actions have reportedly continued on a rolling basis in many prisons across the country for the last month, yet a Media Matters analysis found virtual media silence on …