On the Radio

Week of September 25, 2016

Locked Up

September 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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Handwork

September 25, 2016
(was 12.06.2015)

More than 38 million Americans knit or crochet. Not because they need another scarf or afghan, but because they like the way knitting feels. Handwork turns out be a powerful antidote for digital overload. This hour explores the therapeutic value of drawing, knitting and other handcrafts.  And, this year's most coveted gift for writers, English majors and luddites? The manual typewriter.

  1. Can Knitting Improve Your Health?

    Betsan Corkhill founded Britain's therapeutic knitting movement -- the clinical application of knitting to treat a variety of mental and physical ailments.  She teaches knitting to patients through the National Health Service and coordinates medical research on its benefits.  

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  2. How Hands Have Shaped Humanity

    Humans are the only creatures on the planet with hands that can knit, draw, throw pots and build houses.  Philosophy Colin McGinn thinks hands made us human -- and deserve more respect.

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  3. Lynda Barry's Radio Drawing Lessons

    The celebrated cartoonist Lynda Barry has a deep theory of creativity that she's explored through books and popular workshops.  Now she's working with scientists and students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to investigate the  relationship of the hand to mental health and creativity. Grab paper and pens before you listen.

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  4. The Magical Mechanical Typewriter

    First it was vinyl; now, the typewriter is back. Vintage Smith-Coronas and Olivettis are hot items on Ebay.  Cities around country are hosting "type ins".   Hipster fad or analog rebellion?  Philosopher Richard Polt assesses the typewriter revolution.

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  5. The Typewriter Poet

    A few years ago, Tyler Knott Gregson challenged himself to compose a daily poem on a vintage typewriter.  Now he's a best-selling poet with a vast social media following.  And he still writes on a typewriter.

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