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.
February 19, 2021: Corcoran Does What They Wanna Do
Mwalimu Shakur, who spoke in last week’s episode about COVID-19 protocols in his facility, returns this week to share more reflections. He shares first-hand experiences of gladiator fights and organizing against the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) from the inside. Corcoran State Prison was the first prison to develop the ultra-repressive SHU. He also talks about using his time inside to educate other, younger prisoners through reading groups on classics like George Jackson and lessons in language, Marxist theory, and more.
February 12, 2021: State Crime
This week, we followup on the COVID-19 conditions at Corcoran Prison in California and share news from the uprising in the St. Louis Jail.
Afterwards, we finish a conversation between Dr. Jeffrey Ian Ross and Dr. Micol Seigel. Ross is a Professor at the University of Baltimore, and has researched, written, and lectured extensively on policing, political crime, state crime, and crimes of the powerful for over two decades.
Last week, they discussed the concept of “convict criminology”. Convict criminology is the study of crime and prisons by formerly imprisoned academics and associated critical and radical scholars. Now, their conversation moves into a vital discussion of police violence and use of force, and the difference between “state crime” and “state violence”.
You can learn more about Dr. Ross’ work via his website, jeffreyianross.com.
February 5, 2021: Convict Criminology
On January 30th, guards attacked Robert Earl Council, and beat him until he was unconscious. Council, also known as Kinetik Justice, is a longtime imprisoned organizer and cofounder of the Free Alabama Movement. Outside supporters have urged as many people as possible to call the Donaldson Correctional Facility and express concern for Council’s welfare. The prison’s phone number is (205) 436-3681.
This week, we sit in on a conversation between Dr. Jeffrey Ian Ross and Dr. Micol Seigel. Ross is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, College of Public Affairs, and a Research Fellow in the Center for International and Comparative Law, and the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore. They discuss the concept of “convict criminology”. Convict criminology is the study of crime and prisons by ex-convict academics and associated critical and radical scholars. In addition to outlining the roots and applications of the concept, they reflect on other issues, such as police reform, and the practical challenges faced by formerly incarcerated people and those who study incarceration and policing.
You can check out all of our previous episodes at our new website: kitelineradio.org
January 29, 2021: #CagingCOVID
This week, we share audio in support of Dan Baker and Loren Reed, and from Panagioti Tsolkas, who tells us about the important #CagingCOVID campaign and their upcoming February 1st day of action. As we’ve previously documented on Kite Line, facilities across the country have systematically failed to protect prisoners from COVID-19 and its uncontrolled spread. We are sharing two testimonies on this horrific failure, both collected by the #CagingCOVID campaign, one from Kevin Rashid Johnson in Indiana and the other by Ricardo Pena III in Texas.
You can find out more about Dan Baker here, and Loren Reed here.
You can hear more audio from the #CagingCOVID campaign here.
January 22, 2021: Bare Essentials- Health Advocacy for Prisoners
On Kite Line this week, we share two interviews with advocates working on the physical well-being of those locked inside. The first conversation we hear is with Olivia, who is part of a group trying to get the word out about unsafe conditions at the California Medical Facility, or CMF, a prison for inmates with medical conditions. This facility has been overrun by the coronavirus, as a result of carelessness by the administrators.
Our second call is with Peter, who talks to us about his advocacy for a friend in the DuPage County Jail. His friend, Strawberry Hampton, who was recently featured on the show, suffered abuse at the hands of prison staff and wanted to report the violation via PREA, the Prison Rape Elimination Act. However, reporting the PREA grievance was much less straightforward than one would expect it to be.
You can listen to our previous episodes on PREA here and here.
January 15, 2021: In the Fray
This week on Kite Line, we have a wide variety of ongoing prison news- ranging from the recent executions of prisoners in Terre Haute to a prison disturbance in St. Louis. Afterwards, we share a conversation that was sent to us from an outside supporter of the ongoing Saskatoon Correctional Facility hunger strike. In this conversation, Cardinal explains what led to the hunger strike, and how outside support has been helpful to those inside.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.