On the Radio

Week of June 25, 2017

Locked Up

June 25, 2017
(was 09.25.2016)

Most of us will never know what really happens behind bars. Prisons are generally off limits to the public and press, but a national prisoner strike on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riot is drawing new attention to the conditions in many of our nation's jails. This hour, what should a prison be?

  1. How The Attica Prison Riot Fueled Mass Incarceration in America

    The Attica Prison riot is remembered as one of the bloodiest and savage of its kind, but a new history is challenging that familiar narrative. Heather Ann Thompson is a historian who’s just come out with a gripping new account of the uprising called "Blood in the Water." To write it, she spent 13 years wading through thousands of public archives and court documents, and what she uncovered is pretty damning: evidence of police negligence and torture during the prison’s retaking, and of a government cover up.

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  2. Working Undercover As A Private Prison Guard

    Most of us will never know what life in prison is really like. It’s mostly off limits to the public and to many in the press, but criminal justice reporter Shane Bauer had a wild idea to gain access: for four months he worked undercover as a guard at a private prison. His resulting expose was recently published in Mother Jones magazine, and in it he details appalling conditions, both for inmates and guards.

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  3. In Defense of Flogging

    Philosopher Jason Brennan spells out a provocative idea: let's bring back flogging as an alternative to imprisonment.

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  4. Norway's Unusual Approach to Imprisonment

    For two years, criminal justice advocate Baz Dreisinger traveled the world, touring prisons in nine different countries, which she writes about in her book "Incarceration Nations." She says the experience gave her valuable new insights into how to rehabilitate prisoners, and she points to Norway as a model of humane reform.

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  5. How To Reduce Mass Incarceration

    Civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson believes in creating incentives to reduce the country's prison population.

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  6. Exploring the Emotional Roots of Justice

    Martha Nussbaum may be one of the most well-respected living philosophers in the world today. For years, she’s investigated how emotions shape our thoughts and political systems. In her latest book, “Anger and Forgiveness,” she explores the corrosive effect anger plays in our relationships, politics and criminal justice systems. She tells Steve Paulson that retribution and payback aren't compatible with true justice.

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Being Broke and White

June 25, 2017
(was 09.18.2016)

There’s a powerful new voting bloc in America. They’re white, working class, and they live in places that have been left behind. We'll talk with "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance, and country music star Brandy Clark joins us in the studio to play some music and talk about her hometown.

  1. Hillbilly Elegy

    The kind of people who live in places like Jackson, Kentucky often get characterized as poor, white and angry. And worse, as redneck and racist – hillbilly white trash. J.D. Vance knows them well. They’re his people. He grew up in Kentucky coal country and the Ohio rust belt - places he left behind when he went to Yale Law School. Today he practices in Silicon Valley, but he’s just written a book called “Hillbilly Elegy," which should be required reading for this election year.  Welcome to Jackson, Kentucky.

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  2. Big Day in a Small Town

    Poor, broke and white. Country musician Brandy Clark's been there, but she made it out. She’s 40 years old and won the country music awards’ Song of the Year and was also nominated for best new artist. Charles Monroe-Kane caught up with Brandy, along with her guitar player and backup singer Miles Aubrey, in a studio in Nashville, to talk about her latest album, Big Day in a Small Town.

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  3. In the Century of Rust

    Poet Rochelle Hurt is from Youngstown, Ohio. Now that she's moved away, she misses home. And the rust. 

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  4. Smart Decline

    Youngstown, Ohio is the center of the Rust Belt.  During steel's heyday, Youngstown was a city of nearly 200,000. Now, it’s under 70,000. The steel mills closed in the 1980’s, people left, and no one replaced them. Steve Paulson sat down with urban planner Justin Hollander talk about what to do next - what Hollander calls "smart decline."

     

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  5. The Future of Whiteness

    White Americans of European descent will make up less than half the population by 2042, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In other words, white people will soon become a demographic minority. Philosopher Linda Martin Alcoff says that shift represents a sea change in how we'll think about American identity. She’s the author of the new book “The Future of Whiteness.” Alcoff told Steve Paulson that before we contemplate the future, we need to grapple with what it means to be white today.

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