40 episodes

Rattling the Bars, hosted by former Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall “Eddie” Conway, puts the voices of the people most harmed by our system of mass incarceration at the center of our reporting on the fight to end it.

Rattling The Bars The Real News Network

    • News

Rattling the Bars, hosted by former Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall “Eddie” Conway, puts the voices of the people most harmed by our system of mass incarceration at the center of our reporting on the fight to end it.

    Prisoners allege abuse at ‘shock’ camps

    Prisoners allege abuse at ‘shock’ camps

    On March 10, the Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in upstate New York closed its doors. Opponents to the closure said that the Moriah Shock facility provided essential jobs for the community and that the military bootcamp style of the program at so-called “shock" camps helps inmates recover from issues with alcohol and drug abuse. But is this true? What are “shock” camps? What goes on there? And do they actually help incarcerated people? In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Keri Blakinger about the closure of the Moriah facility and about her recent article on “shock” camps, "'A Humiliating Experience’: Prisoners Allege Abuse at Discipline-focused ‘Shock’ Camps.”

    Keri Blakinger is a staff writer for The Marshall Project whose work focuses on prisons and jails. She writes “Inside Out,” a regular column published in collaboration with NBC News. She previously covered criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, VICE, the New York Daily News, and The New York Times. She is the The Marshall Project’s first formerly incarcerated reporter. Her memoir, Corrections in Ink, comes out in June 2022.

    Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/the-shocking-truth-about-what-prisoners-endure-at-shock-camps

    Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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    • 27 min
    The for-profit companies charging prisoners to read their own mail

    The for-profit companies charging prisoners to read their own mail

    According to The Sentencing Project, “Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 115,428 people in 2019, representing 8% of the total state and federal prison population.” However, while private prisons still make up a minority of carceral institutions in the US, the infiltration of privatization has spread throughout the prison-industrial complex. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Paul Wright about the dehumanizing practice of prisons digitizing mail, which allows for increased surveillance, and for profit-seeking companies to charge inmates and their families exorbitant fees to read mail on electric portals.

    Paul Wright is the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center. He is also editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), the longest-running independent prisoner rights publication in US history. Wright has co-authored three PLN anthologies: The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry; Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor; and Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Imprisonment.


    Read the transcript of this interview:


    Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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    • 23 min
    'It is torture': Women in Maryland’s prisons have nowhere to turn

    'It is torture': Women in Maryland’s prisons have nowhere to turn

    Pre-release and minimum security facilities connect incarcerated individuals to essential resources for re-entering society and to opportunities for work release, special leave, compassionate leave, and family leave. In the state of Maryland, there are nine separate pre-release and minimum security facilities for men; for women, there are zero. “At the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W) in Jessup, Maryland,” as noted by the grassroots nonprofit Out for Justice, “as many as 1 in 10 women have achieved pre-release status. However, as many as 30% of the women on pre-release status have not been assigned to a work opportunity.”

    In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Eddie Conway and Charles Hopkins (Mansa Musa) speak with Nicole Hanson-Mundell, executive director of Out For Justice, about the Maryland Gender-Responsive Prerelease Act and the fight to add the construction of a standalone, community-based prerelease facility for women to the Department of Public and Correctional Service budget during their hearing on Feb. 17, 2022.

    Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/it-is-torture-women-in-marylands-prisons-have-nowhere-to-turn

    Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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    • 32 min
    Revolt against the carceral world

    Revolt against the carceral world

    With 2.1 million incarcerated people, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. But America’s prison system is part of a larger social apparatus that predominantly targets, criminalizes, and polices poor people and people of color. As the monstrous reach of our carceral system extends further into our daily lives, so too have forms of resistance grown in communities around the country and beyond. At this moment in history, what creative possibilities exist for revolting against these institutionalized forms of capture, policing, and criminalization?

    In 2021, TRNN Executive Producer and host of Rattling the Bars Eddie Conway joined a blockbuster panel of scholars and activists for the American Studies Association (ASA) to discuss these very questions. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, with permission from the ASA and the panel participants, we are publishing the video recording of this panel, which is entitled “Revolt Against the Carceral World” and is hosted by Professor Dylan Rodríguez.

    Dylan Rodríguez (host) is Professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He was named to the inaugural class of Freedom Scholars in 2020 and is President of the American Studies Association (2020-2021). Rodríguez is a founding member of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association and Critical Resistance, a national carceral abolitionist organization, and he is the author of three books.

    See the transcript and full episode details: https://therealnews.com/revolt-against-the-carceral-world
    
    Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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    • 1 hr 39 min
    An Arkansas jail tested ivermectin ‘treatment’ on detainees without their consent

    An Arkansas jail tested ivermectin ‘treatment’ on detainees without their consent

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit against the Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas on behalf of inmates who say the jail’s medical staff, led by Dr. Robert Karas, prescribed and gave them ivermectin to treat COVID-19 without telling them what the drug actually was. (Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and others have repeatedly stated should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19.) As Edrick Floreal-Wooten, one of the inmates at Washington County Detention Center and a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, recently told CBS News, "They said they were vitamins, steroids and antibiotics. We were running fevers, throwing up, diarrhea ... and so we figured that they were here to help us. ... We never knew that they were running experiments on us, giving us ivermectin. We never knew that."

    In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speaks about these revelations and the impending federal lawsuit with Gary Sullivan, legal director for the ACLU of Arkansas, and Zachary Crow, director of decARcerate, a grassroots coalition working to end mass incarceration in Arkansas with and on behalf of prisoners and their families.

    Read the transcript of this podcast: https://therealnews.com/an-arkansas-jail-tested-ivermectin-treatment-on-detainees-without-their-consent

    Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


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    • 17 min
    How Maryland prisoners took on the governor

    How Maryland prisoners took on the governor

    Walter Lomax was wrongfully imprisoned in the state of Maryland for 39 years until he eventually had his conviction vacated by a judge in 2006. While he was incarcerated and fighting for his freedom, Lomax worked with other inmates on the long process of lobbying for a bill in the state legislature that would end Maryland’s designation as one of only three states—along with California and Oklahoma—that granted the governor the power to veto parole recommendations made by the parole commission. In December of 2021, that fight finally ended and the Maryland legislature stripped the governor’s power to overturn parole decisions for inmates serving life sentences.

    In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway and cohost-in-training Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speak with Walter Lomax about his incarceration and the long fight to change Maryland’s parole system. After being fully exonerated in 2014, Walter Lomax became the face of the effort to fix the state’s compensation system for wrongfully convicted and imprisoned Marylanders, culminating in the passage of “The Walter Lomax Act” in 2021. He is also the founder and executive director of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that advocates for humane and sensible criminal justice and sentencing policies for those incarcerated long term in Maryland prisons.

    Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/how-maryland-prisoners-took-on-the-governor
    
    Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

    Help us continue producing Rattling the Bars by following us and becoming a monthly sustainer:

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    • 21 min

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