89 episodes

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein

Beyond Prisons Beyond Prisons

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    • 4.9 • 231 Ratings

Beyond Prisons is a podcast on justice, mass incarceration, and prison abolition. Hosted by @phillyprof03 & @bsonenstein

    Snuffing Out Revolution: Control Units & Resistance

    Snuffing Out Revolution: Control Units & Resistance

    Welcome to episode two of  “Over the Wall: The Abolitionist Hour with Critical Resistance.” For listeners new to Beyond Prisons or our collaboration with Critical Resistance, this is a new, regular series that premiered in September of 2023. Hosted by members of Critical Resistance’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective, “Over the Wall” discusses articles and key interventions made by Critical Resistance’s cross-wall, bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist. 
    This episode—dedicated to Critical Resistance co-founder and long-standing member Masai Ehehosi—focuses on Issue 40 of The Abolitionist and is titled, "Snuffing Out Revolution: Control Units & Resistance." Dylan and Molly are back, and analyze the history, purpose, and proliferation of control units throughout the US and beyond. Together, they discuss key articles within the issue, which foreground organized resistance to control units while emphasizing the importance of rejecting cheap liberal reforms that dilute the long-standing abolitionist demand to abolish control units. This episode includes special guest Sahar Francis of Addameer, along with Issue 40 contributing authors Masai Ehehosi, Kenjuan Congo, and Stevie Wilson. 
    On April 1 2024, as we were circulating this issue online, we received heartbreaking news that Masai suddenly passed away. With over 50 years of working for Black liberation, including decades of resisting control units and torture of imprisoned people, Masai was a pillar of Critical Resistance (CR) and had a profound presence in each of the organizations he was a part of. CR is releasing a tribute statement for Masai on April 8, and will continue to uplift his legacy for weeks, months, and years to come. Check for the post at: criticalresistance.org/updates/ to learn more about Masai’s movement contributions.  
    Support Elder Sitawa Jamaa!
    As mentioned in the episode, please give what you can to support movement elder Sitawa Jamaa! Sitawa spent over 40 years in prison, and due to severe strokes while imprisoned, he requires 24/7 nursing care to survive. Please go to bit.ly/sitawa-jamaa to donate today.
    Resource—Surviving Solitary 
    CR’s newest resource called “Surviving Solitary,” which includes  a series of interviews with solitary survivors, can be requested by prisoners by writing to our national office at: Critical Resistance, PO Box 22780, Oakland CA 94609. If you’re outside of a cage and would like to check it out for your work supporting imprisoned people, or share with your loved ones who are locked up, you will be able to download the resource for free from our website next month (in April) at criticalresistance.org/resources. 
    Check out Issue 40 and Subscribe to The Abolitionist Newspaper! 
    The time is always right to support radical political education! You can read two early-release articles from Issue 40 on CR’s website: an interview with Susan Rosenberg the fight to close a control unit for radical women, Lexington High Security Unit, and an article on the historic prisoner-led hunger strikes against solitary confinement in California in 2011 and 2013. 
    Every single paid subscription on the outside allows CR to send the paper to thousands of people locked up inside prisons, jails, and detention centers to receive this valuable political education resource FOR FREE! Go to: criticalresistance.org/subscribe-to-the-abolitionist-newspaper/  to sign up for a sliding scale subscription to the paper, or to sign up an imprisoned loved one to receive a copy of our next issue. 
    Host Bios: 
    Dylan Brown is a 24 year old Black organizer and educator based in New York City, and has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2020. As a member of the New York City chapter of Critical Resistance, Dylan is organizing within the Abolish ICE New York/New Jersey Coalition on their current NY Dignity Not Detention campaign, which seeks to  build power to end immigrant detention throughout NY State. Fo

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Certain Days

    Certain Days

    Josh Davidson and Leslie James Pickering from the Certain Days collective join the show to talk about 2024’s Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar and the work of their collective. We previously spoke with Josh and other folks from the collective back in 2020 and we encourage you to go listen to that episode if you haven’t heard it yet. 
    Josh and Leslie spoke to us about the works included in the 2024 calendar, how they’ve navigated increasingly oppressive mail policies to distribute it, Josh’s upcoming book with political prisoner Eric King, the impact that focusing their work around solidarity with political prisoners has had on their political analysis and organizing, and a lot more. 
    The Certain Days Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, New York, and Baltimore, and current and former political prisoners, including currently imprisoned Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. They welcomed founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes (Rest in Power) home from prison in 2018, and David Gilbert in 2021, each of whom spent over forty years behind bars. All of the current members of the outside collective are grounded in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from legal aid to community media, radical education to prisoner solidarity. And they work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer- and trans-liberationist position. All proceeds from the calendar go to abolitionist organizations working for a better world. We highly encourage you to pick up a few copies of the calendar if you haven’t already. 
    Josh Davidson is an abolitionist who is involved in numerous projects, including the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar collective and the Children’s Art Project with political prisoner Oso Blanco. Josh also works in communications with the Zinn Education Project, which promotes the teaching of radical people’s history in classrooms and provides free lessons and resources for educators. Along with political prisoner Eric King, Josh co-edited the anthology Rattling the Cages: Oral Histories of North American Political Prisoners (AK Press, 2023). He lives in Eugene, Oregon. 
    Leslie James Pickering is a member of the Certain Days collective. He is a co-owner of Burning Books and was spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office
    Episode Resources & Notes Buy the Certain Days calendar:
    CertainDays.org (US)
    Burning Books (US)
    Left Wing Books (Canada)
    Credits
    Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam
    Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 52 min
    Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice & Abolitionist Struggle

    Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice & Abolitionist Struggle

    This is the first episode of  our new series titled “Over the Wall: The Abolitionist Hour with Critical Resistance.”
    This will be a regular series on Beyond Prisons, hosted by members of Critical Resistance’s The Abolitionist Editorial Collective, in which they will discuss articles and key interventions made by Critical Resistance’s cross-wall, bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist. The first episode of this series focuses on Issue 39 of The Abolitionist and is titled, “Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice and Abolitionist Struggle.” 
    This episode is hosted by Molly Porzig and Dylan Brown, and discusses why reproductive justice is an essential field of struggle for prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition. Together, they analyze the political conditions shaping the struggle for PIC abolition and reproductive justice in this moment, discuss core points made by various articles in the issue, and weave in follow-up interviews with contributors from the latest issue of the newspaper—including Ash Williams, Moonlight Pulido, Targol Mesbah, and imprisoned columnist for The Abolitionist, Stevie Wilson. 
    To learn more, make sure to check out Critical Resistance’s upcoming webinar this Thursday, September 21, “Our Bodies, Our Freedom: Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex Post-Roe,” and register at bit.ly/OurBodies9-21  
    Dylan Brown is a 24 year old Black organizer and educator based in New York City, and has been a member of Critical Resistance since 2020. As a member of the New York City chapter of Critical Resistance, Dylan is organizing within the Abolish ICE New York/New Jersey Coalition on their current NY Dignity Not Detention campaign, which seeks to  build power to end immigrant detention throughout NY State. For the past three years, Dylan has been an editor for The Abolitionist Newspaper. 
    Molly Porzig is a Bay Area based organizer and educator in California with nearly 20 years of organizing experience with Critical Resistance (CR). Molly first became a member of CR in 2006 as a transitional-aged youth with experience in the juvenile system and systems-impacted youth-based, queer, and women-led anti-violence organizations. On behalf of CR, Molly has organized in Stop the Injunctions Coalition against the use of gang injunctions, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition against solitary confinement, No New SF Jail coalition to close a county jail in downtown San Francisco, Plan for a Safer Oakland in partnership with All of Us or None, the CR 10th Anniversary Conference organizing committee, the StoryTelling and Organizing Project with Creative Interventions, and more. In 2020, Molly joined CR’s national staff as CR’s National Media & Communications Manager, as well as the organization’s project manager of its cross-wall bilingual newspaper, The Abolitionist.
    Follow Critical Resistance on Twitter at @C_Resistance
    Music Credits
    Taste of Freedom by Steven Beddall
    I Wish - drum loop by Artlist Original
    Special thanks to Freedom Archives for the clip of Assata Shakur
    Support Beyond Prisons Beyond Prisons is created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Penitence for the privileged

    Penitence for the privileged

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains discussions of sexual violence.
    Kim and Brian discuss Mark E. Kann’s “Penitence for the Privileged: Manhood, Race, and Penitentiaries in Early America.” This essay is a chapter in the book Prison Masculinities, edited by Don Sabo, Terry A. Kupers, and Willie London.
    Our wide-ranging conversation examines the role of prisons in early America as a tool for sorting who was and was not American, which was understood exclusively as a white male citizen. We also discuss manhood, militarism, and self-discipline in the service of “liberty,” the logic behind protecting children from “criminals,” and a lot more.
    Episode Resources & Notes Prison Masculinities, edited by Don Sabo, Terry A. Kupers, and Willie London.
    Support Beyond Prisons Beyond Prisons is created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Prison Librarians

    Prison Librarians

    For this episode, Kim sat down with Jeanie Austin, a Bay Area librarian and academic who focuses on library services for incarcerated people, and Sarah ball, a New York City public librarian working inside jails and prisons providing access to books and information for criminalized and incarcerated people and their families.
    We explore the multifaceted role of prison libraries, and the challenges faced by prison librarians in providing access to information and literature within the confines of the correctional system. We delve into the delicate balance between offering valuable services to incarcerated individuals while navigating the authority and constraints imposed by prison officials. Join us as we investigate how prison librarians promote access to information, address potential challenges rooted in the philosophy of rehabilitation, and challenge the dynamic shaped by whiteness, information, and power within prison library systems. We also delve into the ways in which prison censorship specifically targets LGBTQIA plus individuals and discuss strategies for dismantling biases and inequities.
    Additionally, we examine the historical and political contexts that have influenced the evolution of prison libraries, the impact of political ideologies and policies and the role of education and rehabilitation within prisons. For enlightening discussions, we uncover the transformative potential prison library programs, identify the challenges they face, and explore innovative approaches and best practices to enhance their effectiveness. Lastly, we explore future perspectives on prison libraries, emerging trends, the influence of technology, and the importance of raising public awareness and support for these vital programs.
    This episode also incorporates insights from Dr. Austin's book, "Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access," which offers a comprehensive exploration of the topic. We examine key chapters, including the historical context, the role of information in incarceration, models of direct service, reentry support and programming, and strategies for building institutional support. Furthermore, we discussed several thought provoking articles that shed light on the impact of prison censorship, content-based bands in the denial of access to books, as well as the crucial role of community organizations and library and information science professionals in addressing these issues and fostering a more equitable information environment within prisons. Get ready to expand your understanding of prison libraries, their significance within the criminal punishment system, and their potential to empower and transform lives.
    Jeanie Austin (they/them) is a Bay Area librarian and academic who focuses on library services for incarcerated people. More about Jeanie is available at https://jeanieaustin.com/about/.
    Sarah Ball (she/her) is a NYC public librarian working inside jails and prisons, providing access to books and information for criminalized and incarcerated people and their families, with a priority on patron privacy and autonomy.
    Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam
    Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Six Years of Beyond Prisons (Epilogue)

    Six Years of Beyond Prisons (Epilogue)

    In this follow-up to our six-year anniversary episode, Kim shares some of what she has been going through in recent years. We recommend you listen to that previous episode before listening to this one.
    You can support Kim on Cash App at https://cash.app/$BeyondPrisons
    Credits Created and hosted by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein
    Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam
    Support Beyond Prisons Visit our website at beyond-prisons.com
    Support our show and join us on Patreon. Check out our other donation options as well.
    Please listen, subscribe, and rate/review our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play
    Join our mailing list for updates on new episodes, events, and more
    Send tips, comments, and questions to beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com
    Kim Wilson is available for speaking engagements and to facilitate workshops. Please contact beyondprisonspodcast@gmail.com for more information
    Twitter: @Beyond_Prison
    Facebook:@beyondprisonspodcast
    Instagram:@beyondprisons

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
231 Ratings

231 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

The hosts of the Beyond Prisons podcast highlight all aspects of mass incarceration and more in this can’t miss podcast! The hosts and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

LateNate64 ,

Skewed Opinions

Kim Wilson cohost and producer claims that the justice system is racist and uses her two sons serving life sentences as an example of racially fueled injustice. Her sons robbed, shot and killed two young men in cold blood over marijuana. The young victims did not provoke her soulless sons. Her sons did not care they were taking away two children from their mothers arms forever. They just wanted their drugs so they killed them and took it. Her opinions on this podcast are skewed based on the frustration she has towards her two sons serving life sentences. I am sorry she is going through this but it’s no excuse to blame the system for her sons wrongdoings.

Irishfan-12 ,

Review

This is VITAL information. Thank you. Trying to get MORE involved and educated.

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