Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.
August 25, 2023: Transforming Trauma- Voices from Inside-Out
Content Warning: This episode contains references to sexual trauma and harm.
We start off this episode with our monthly round up of prison disturbances, as compiled by Perilous Chronicle- followed by some recent prison news.
We close our episode with a feature created by students as part of Dr. Micol Seigel’s Inside Out program at Indiana University. As mentioned on the show previously, the Inside Out program was started a means of bringing together campus-based students with incarcerated students for a semester-long course held in a prison, jail or other correctional setting. This feature was written, recorded, and edited by students inside and outside of the prison walls.
Dr. Seigel would like to thank the staff of Plainfield Correctional Facility for their assistance in guiding the Inside-Out class.
Advocacy Into Action
And now we return to the second part of our conversation between Micol Seigel and Amanda Hall. Last week, Hall talked to us about how her firsthand experience of incarceration led her to her current work in prisoner and re-entry support. And now she talks through her continuing advocacy through Dream.org and the ACLU.
You can find out more about Amanda’s work and Dream.org on their website.
July 7, 2023: Experience Into Advocacy
For this episode, we share the first part of a conversation between Micol Seigel and Amanda Hall. Hall talks to us about how her firsthand experience of incarceration led her to her current work in prisoner and re-entry support. We will air the second part of this conversation next week.
You can find out more about Amanda's work and Dream.org on their website.
June 2, 2023: The Atlanta Solidarity Fund
On the morning of May 31st, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Police Department raided a house and arrested three staff members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund is a non profit organization that supports those arrested for protesting or otherwise prosecuted for involvement in social movements. Over the last year, the fund has focused on supporting those arrested for their involvement in the national movement to Stop Cop City, which opposes the construction of what would be the largest police training facility in the US, set to be built over an urban forest in South Atlanta and most notably featuring a 'mock city' for urban combat training and riot control.
The solidarity fund has posted bail and offered jail support to those arrested in relation to the movement.
This week's house raid is just the most recent attack on the struggle to Stop Cop City, which has experienced extreme repression by the state of Georgia this year. In January, an activist opposing the construciton of Cop City, Manuel Terran, also known as Tortuguita, was shot and killed by Georgia State Troopers, with over 57 gunshot wounds. Georgia police have made over 90 arrests in the past two years related to the movement, and 42 of those arrested are being charged with domestic terrorism.
The attempt by Georgia government to attack a nonprofit providing legal support, however, is a new development in this ongoing campaign against Georgian's civil rights. This is a part of a prosecutorial strategy of characterizing the entirety of Atlanta's popular Stop Cop City social movement as a terrorist organization. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a statement with this week's raid, promising to "track down every member of a criminal organization, from violent foot soldiers to their uncaring leaders."
UPDATE: On June 2nd, Judge Altman questioned the prosecution’s basis for the case and granted bond to all three defendants. He said, "“I'm concerned about some of the same things that the defense attorney mentions about the line between legitimate free speech and crossing into illegal violent acts... Paying for camping supplies and the like—I don't find it very impressive. There's not a lot of meat on the bones of the allegations that thousands of dollars are going to fund illegal activities."
The National Bail Fund Network is collecting donations for the Atlanta Solidarity Fund on a temporary basis as of May 31, 2023. All funds raised here will be used to support bail and legal defense funds of those being arrested and prosecuted in Atlanta.
More information at bit.ly/localbailfunds
May 19, 2021: Prison by Any Other Name, Part One
This week on Kite Line we air a discussion from 2021, in which we speak with prison abolitionist journalists Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law.
We share the first part of our discussion on their recent book, Prison by Any Other Name: Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms. The book is an in-depth look at the various “alternatives to prison” that are held up as substitutes for incarceration, but which, in many cases, bring surveillance into our homes and communities. The alternatives mentioned in our discussion today – electronic monitoring, probation, court mandated psychiatric confinement or Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOTS), and the sex offender registry – are just a few of the methods critiques in their book.
Law has been on the show before, and you can hear her talk about women’s resistance within prisons here, and on a panel about carceral feminism here.
April 21, 2023: Crisis and Neglect
The U.S. was shaken this week by the death of Lashawn Thompson in Atlanta's Fulton County Jail. He had been moved to the psychiatric ward after being jailed on a simple battery charge. Physically healthy when he was arrested, he was left in a cell infested with bed bugs and other vermin. Michael Harper, an attorney for Thompson's family, said he had been "eaten alive," with over 1000 bites on his body. This is only the latest scandal to rock Atlanta-area jails, which hold thousands of people in brutal conditions of neglect.
In order to think more broadly about the context of medical and psychiatric care in prison, we are sharing an earlier Kite Line episode this week featuring a conversation on the subject between Michelle Jones, Anastazia Schmid, and Micol Seigel. Recorded in 2016 while Jones and Schmid were both still incarcerated, we are happy to report that both women have since been released. Jones is one of the authors of the recent book, WHO WOULD BELIEVE A PRISONER Indiana Women’s Carceral Institutions, 1848–1920.
Informational and Engrossing
Everyone should listen to this podcast.. it’ll open your eyes to the prison system, and to US American systems of injustice in general.
Best prisoner podcast hands down
I LOVE kiteline! It’s a woman-made syndicated radio program. They are so easy to listen to. Kiteline features interviews with prisoners, activists and professors which are as often funny and inspiring as they are sobering and sad. Interviews are paired with historical and sociological lessons on prison issues.
If only more people listened to this podcast and heard the stories of how prisons abuse their power. This podcast through interviews with scholars and people struggling in the system show the disastrous effects and harm produced by our prison system. Anyone interested in prison abolition should listen to this podcast.