1. Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews  Starred Up, about a teenage inmate in a maximum security adult prison:

None of the inmates in the brutal British prison drama Starred Up thinks of escape or even imminent release—it’s not that kind of prison drama. The characters will be here for a long time, and they’ve accepted the hierarchy of power among the prisoners. But the newest arrival hasn’t, yet. He’s a teenager named Eric Love—he has been “starred up,” meaning transferred to an adult prison because he’s too violent for a juvenile lock-up. Eric marks his arrival by smashing furniture in his cell and making a run at the guards, chomping down on one guy’s crotch and refusing to let go. His hair-trigger hostility to authority leaves him confused when he meets two father figures. One is an earnest group therapist named Oliver Baumer. The other is his actual father, Neville Love, a dominating inmate whom Eric barely knows. The psychodrama is so thick you can cut it with a straight razor.
View in High-Res

    Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews  Starred Up, about a teenage inmate in a maximum security adult prison:

    None of the inmates in the brutal British prison drama Starred Up thinks of escape or even imminent release—it’s not that kind of prison drama. The characters will be here for a long time, and they’ve accepted the hierarchy of power among the prisoners. But the newest arrival hasn’t, yet. He’s a teenager named Eric Love—he has been “starred up,” meaning transferred to an adult prison because he’s too violent for a juvenile lock-up. Eric marks his arrival by smashing furniture in his cell and making a run at the guards, chomping down on one guy’s crotch and refusing to let go. His hair-trigger hostility to authority leaves him confused when he meets two father figures. One is an earnest group therapist named Oliver Baumer. The other is his actual father, Neville Love, a dominating inmate whom Eric barely knows. The psychodrama is so thick you can cut it with a straight razor.

  2. starred up

    david edelstein

    fresh air

    review

    prison

  1. Posted on 4 September, 2014

    149 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from gitmobooks

    gitmobooks:

"The Hunger Games," "Catching Fire," and "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins


New York Times correspondent Charlie Savage spoke to Fresh Air about the state of Guantanamo Bay, the efforts to move the remaining detainees and the political obstacles to closing the facility. 
Savage also started a tumblr of books in the Gitmo library. “People seem to really be taken with it,” he says. “Because it’s so familiar and yet so alien at the same time to see these books that we’ve read or might be on your kid’s shelf—except it’s circulating among detainees at Guantanamo Bay.” 
Here’s what Savage says about the library: 

"It has about 20,000 books. …The detainees can’t go there and browse the stacks. Instead, library personnel puts a bunch of books in bins and cart them around to the cell blocks. …
The most popular books are said to be religious books, maybe not surprisingly, but they have a whole room full of western books that you or I would be quite familiar with—ranging from Captain America comic books to The Hunger Games, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. … 
Apparently nature books and nature magazines with photographs [of] ocean or mountain or forest scenes are quite popular, maybe because they never see nature.”


View in High-Res

    gitmobooks:

    "The Hunger Games," "Catching Fire," and "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

    New York Times correspondent Charlie Savage spoke to Fresh Air about the state of Guantanamo Bay, the efforts to move the remaining detainees and the political obstacles to closing the facility. 

    Savage also started a tumblr of books in the Gitmo library. “People seem to really be taken with it,” he says. “Because it’s so familiar and yet so alien at the same time to see these books that we’ve read or might be on your kid’s shelf—except it’s circulating among detainees at Guantanamo Bay.” 

    Here’s what Savage says about the library: 

    "It has about 20,000 books. …The detainees can’t go there and browse the stacks. Instead, library personnel puts a bunch of books in bins and cart them around to the cell blocks. …

    The most popular books are said to be religious books, maybe not surprisingly, but they have a whole room full of western books that you or I would be quite familiar with—ranging from Captain America comic books to The Hunger Games, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. … 

    Apparently nature books and nature magazines with photographs [of] ocean or mountain or forest scenes are quite popular, maybe because they never see nature.”

  2. guantanamo bay

    prison

    terrorism

    books

    interview

    fresh air

    charlie savage

  1. Posted on 6 June, 2014

    64,246 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from missdontcare-x

    "In a lot of ways Piper was my Trojan Horse. You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, and Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories. But it’s a hard sell to just go in and try to sell those stories initially. The girl next door, the cool blonde, is a very easy access point, and it’s relatable for a lot of audiences and a lot of networks looking for a certain demographic. It’s useful."

    -Jenji Kohan, Orange is the New Black show creator 

    Today’s show combines our interview with Kohan and the real Piper, Piper Kerman. Listen to the show.

  2. orange is the new black

    jenji kohan

    piper chapman

    piper kerman

    prison

  1. Posted on 5 June, 2014

    5,563 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from orangeitnblack

    Season 2 of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black will be available to binge-watch starting tomorrow. Stay tuned, Friday we’re replaying our interviews with the real Piper, Piper Kerman, and show creator Jenji Kohan

  2. orange is the new black

    piper kerman

    jenji kohan

    OITNB

    interview

    netflix

    prison

  1. Journalist Nell Bernstein's new book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison takes an in-depth look at juvenile incarceration.  The journalist has spent years covering the juvenile justice system, and has interviewed hundreds of young people in detention facilities. One of the many problems in the facilities is the therapeutic treatment that’s available to the prisoners. Bernstein explains:

"There is a movement towards treatment inside juvenile facilities and I sat in on some of these groups, these therapeutic modalities… and what the kids would tell me was, ‘I’m supposed to open my heart in group and put my deepest traumas on the table, but the guy leading the group has the key to my cell.’ So right there you have a conundrum.
A few kids told me that although they were told that group was a “safe place” if they didn’t tell their story, or if they told it in a way that didn’t match their file they would get a write up for not taking responsibility for their actions or not participating in the program and that could, in fact, delay their release date.
I went in with a positive idea about treatment-oriented facilities, but I came out thinking that it’s just paradoxical. You can’t have a therapeutic interaction with a guy who has the key to your cell.”
View in High-Res

    Journalist Nell Bernstein's new book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison takes an in-depth look at juvenile incarceration.  The journalist has spent years covering the juvenile justice system, and has interviewed hundreds of young people in detention facilities. One of the many problems in the facilities is the therapeutic treatment that’s available to the prisoners. Bernstein explains:

    "There is a movement towards treatment inside juvenile facilities and I sat in on some of these groups, these therapeutic modalities… and what the kids would tell me was, ‘I’m supposed to open my heart in group and put my deepest traumas on the table, but the guy leading the group has the key to my cell.’ So right there you have a conundrum.

    A few kids told me that although they were told that group was a “safe place” if they didn’t tell their story, or if they told it in a way that didn’t match their file they would get a write up for not taking responsibility for their actions or not participating in the program and that could, in fact, delay their release date.

    I went in with a positive idea about treatment-oriented facilities, but I came out thinking that it’s just paradoxical. You can’t have a therapeutic interaction with a guy who has the key to your cell.”

  2. prison

    human rights

    juvenile prison

    nell bernstein

    burning down the house

  1. Photographer Matt Bracken toured Philadelphia’s infamous Eastern State Penitentiary with former inmates. Slideshow here.  View in High-Res

    Photographer Matt Bracken toured Philadelphia’s infamous Eastern State Penitentiary with former inmates. Slideshow here. 

  2. philadelphia

    eastern state penitentiary

    photography

    prison

  1. Audio Highlight: Benjamin Wallace-Wells shares an anecdote from a prisoner who was in long-term solitary confinement.

  2. prison

    solitary confinement

    interview

    fresh air

    benjamin wallace-wells

  1. Journalist  Benjamin Wallace-Wells  explains how 4 leaders of rival prison gangs launched a hunger strike against long-term solitary confinement.  One of the 4 leaders,Todd Ashker, has been in solitary for over 20 years. On the first day of the strike, 30,000 inmates across the state of CA participated.  The men were all in small pods in the SHU and communicated by shouting through walls and drains:


I think it took a long time. These four men who led the hunger strike — Todd Ashker, [allegedly] of the Aryan Brotherhood, had the initial idea; Sitawa Jamaa, who is allegedly from the Black Guerilla Family; and Arturo Castellanos, allegedly a senior leader of the Mexican Mafia; and Antonio Guillen, allegedly one of the three “generals” of Nuestra Familia — they were put together in basically the same space years ago, in 2006, and it took five years for them come together.

That was a long process. They were very wary around one another at first, but they are each in their own way political and both Ashker and Sitawa Jamaa in particular had been reading revolutionary texts for years. In their own way, each of them had come to see their fight as fundamentally with the system itself rather than fundamentally with each other.

They also are all about the same age. They’re now in their late 40s and early 50s and they had a ton of time in the pod and they had nothing to do but talk. So what they will say is that they first came together, they first developed some intimacy, not by talking about the abuses that they believed they were suffering and not by talking about gang politics, but by talking about their families. The kind of catalyst, after all, of that was Ashker and the other white inmate on the pod … had become a kind of revolutionary book club and they would talk about these books by shouting through the pod. The impact for Ashker was to kind of highlight that they were members of a prisoner class, that the racial divisions among them were artificial and had been coached along by the guards.


Also on the show, Professor Craig Haney shares his research on the psychological impact of long-term solitary confinement.

photo of the Pelican Bay Short Corridor (SHU) via flyingoverwalls View in High-Res

    Journalist  Benjamin Wallace-Wells  explains how 4 leaders of rival prison gangs launched a hunger strike against long-term solitary confinement.  One of the 4 leaders,Todd Ashker, has been in solitary for over 20 years. On the first day of the strike, 30,000 inmates across the state of CA participated.  The men were all in small pods in the SHU and communicated by shouting through walls and drains:

    I think it took a long time. These four men who led the hunger strike — Todd Ashker, [allegedly] of the Aryan Brotherhood, had the initial idea; Sitawa Jamaa, who is allegedly from the Black Guerilla Family; and Arturo Castellanos, allegedly a senior leader of the Mexican Mafia; and Antonio Guillen, allegedly one of the three “generals” of Nuestra Familia — they were put together in basically the same space years ago, in 2006, and it took five years for them come together.

    That was a long process. They were very wary around one another at first, but they are each in their own way political and both Ashker and Sitawa Jamaa in particular had been reading revolutionary texts for years. In their own way, each of them had come to see their fight as fundamentally with the system itself rather than fundamentally with each other.

    They also are all about the same age. They’re now in their late 40s and early 50s and they had a ton of time in the pod and they had nothing to do but talk. So what they will say is that they first came together, they first developed some intimacy, not by talking about the abuses that they believed they were suffering and not by talking about gang politics, but by talking about their families. The kind of catalyst, after all, of that was Ashker and the other white inmate on the pod … had become a kind of revolutionary book club and they would talk about these books by shouting through the pod. The impact for Ashker was to kind of highlight that they were members of a prisoner class, that the racial divisions among them were artificial and had been coached along by the guards.

    Also on the show, Professor Craig Haney shares his research on the psychological impact of long-term solitary confinement.

    photo of the Pelican Bay Short Corridor (SHU) via flyingoverwalls

  2. prison

    solitary confinement

    pelican bay prison

    hunger strike

    human rights

    fresh air

    interview

  1. L.A. Times photojournalist Mark Boster captures chilling scenes from supermax security Pelican Bay State Prison.

    Thursday on Fresh Air:

    4 alleged leaders of rival prison gangs worked together to coordinate a hunger strike last summer, at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, in protest of long-term solitary confinement. We’ll speak to journalist Benjamin Wallace-Wells about how they organized the strike while in solitary. Then we’ll speak to Professor Craig Haney who has interviewed about 1,000 prisoners who have done time in solitary about its psychological impact.

  2. prison

    solitary confinement

    pelican bay prison

    journalism

    interview

    fresh air

    photography

  1. Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were on the Colbert Report last night. Watch the interview here (in two parts). They share their views on Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws as well as their global campaign for better prison conditions.

Side note: Imagine the task of translating Stephen Colbert into Russian…

A little while back we spoke to Russian journalist Masha Gessen, author of the book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, about these issues. Here Gessen tells us about the conditions Tolokonnikova was subjected to:

"What had happened at her penal colony was that the sewing factory that has served as the lifeblood of every women’s penitentiary institution in Russia, and many of the men’s ones, was taking on more and more orders, so the inmates were forced to work longer and longer hours. By the end of the summer, the workday was about 17 hours, so they were allowed to sleep about four hours a night, if that. They wouldn’t get days off except maybe every six weeks or so. So they were incredibly sleep deprived. The working conditions were very unsafe and they were also … fed very, very poorly in the prison colony.
So Nadezhda decided to protest first inside the prison by going to complain to the warden and saying that they needed to return the workday to the legal limit of eight hours. In response, he threatened her with murder.”


Gessen’s interview also touches on the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Check it out. View in High-Res

    Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were on the Colbert Report last night. Watch the interview here (in two parts). They share their views on Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws as well as their global campaign for better prison conditions.

    Side note: Imagine the task of translating Stephen Colbert into Russian…

    A little while back we spoke to Russian journalist Masha Gessen, author of the book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, about these issues. Here Gessen tells us about the conditions Tolokonnikova was subjected to:

    "What had happened at her penal colony was that the sewing factory that has served as the lifeblood of every women’s penitentiary institution in Russia, and many of the men’s ones, was taking on more and more orders, so the inmates were forced to work longer and longer hours. By the end of the summer, the workday was about 17 hours, so they were allowed to sleep about four hours a night, if that. They wouldn’t get days off except maybe every six weeks or so. So they were incredibly sleep deprived. The working conditions were very unsafe and they were also … fed very, very poorly in the prison colony.

    So Nadezhda decided to protest first inside the prison by going to complain to the warden and saying that they needed to return the workday to the legal limit of eight hours. In response, he threatened her with murder.”

    Gessen’s interview also touches on the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Check it out.

  2. interview

    pussy riot

    colbert report

    stephen colbert

    masha gessen

    vladimir putin

    anti-gay laws

    prison

    activism

  1. Evan Mandery author of A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America draws similarities between the primary arguments against the death penalty and long prison sentences:

I believe that every argument against the death penalty is also an argument against long prison sentences. The death penalty is racist; the criminal justice system and the imposition of long prison sentences is more racist. There’s a question about whether the death penalty deters; there’s a substantial question about whether long sentences deter. There’s a question about whether the death penalty is cost-effective; so too, there’s a tremendous question of whether long prison sentences are cost-effective.


photo via The Guardian

    Evan Mandery author of A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America draws similarities between the primary arguments against the death penalty and long prison sentences:

    I believe that every argument against the death penalty is also an argument against long prison sentences. The death penalty is racist; the criminal justice system and the imposition of long prison sentences is more racist. There’s a question about whether the death penalty deters; there’s a substantial question about whether long sentences deter. There’s a question about whether the death penalty is cost-effective; so too, there’s a tremendous question of whether long prison sentences are cost-effective.

    photo via The Guardian

  2. fresh air

    interview

    evan mandery

    capital punishment

    a wild justice

    death penalty

    prison

  1. Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange is the New Black spoke to Fresh Air about what drew her to the material: 

I’m always looking for those places where you can slam really disparate people up against one another and they have to deal with each other. There are very few crossroads anymore. We talk about this country as this big melting pot, but it’s a mosaic. There’s all these pieces, they’re next to each other, they’re not necessarily mixing. And I’m looking for those spaces where people actually do mix and prison just happens to be a terrific one.


image via 8tracks View in High-Res

    Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange is the New Black spoke to Fresh Air about what drew her to the material: 

    I’m always looking for those places where you can slam really disparate people up against one another and they have to deal with each other. There are very few crossroads anymore. We talk about this country as this big melting pot, but it’s a mosaic. There’s all these pieces, they’re next to each other, they’re not necessarily mixing. And I’m looking for those spaces where people actually do mix and prison just happens to be a terrific one.

    image via 8tracks

  2. fresh air

    interview

    jenji kohan

    orange is the new black

    netflix

    prison

  1. Piper Kerman, author of the book Orange is the New Black (that inspired the Netflix series) is on the show today. 
Hear what the real Piper has to say about the truth and fiction of being starved out, felt up, teased, stalked, and threatened. (Her time served was before Taylor Swift) View in High-Res

    Piper Kerman, author of the book Orange is the New Black (that inspired the Netflix series) is on the show today.


    Hear what the real Piper has to say about the truth and fiction of being starved out, felt up, teased, stalked, and threatened. (Her time served was before Taylor Swift)

  2. piper kerman

    fresh air

    interview

    orange is the new black

    prison

  1. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and [the real] Piper Kerman, of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black — the likeness is uncanny, isn’t it?
Piper Kerman (right) joins us on Monday to talk about her book, the series, and the difference between the two. 

“Truth is much stranger than fiction when it comes to the criminal justice system”

via Bitch Magazine View in High-Res

    Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and [the real] Piper Kerman, of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black — the likeness is uncanny, isn’t it?

    Piper Kerman (right) joins us on Monday to talk about her book, the series, and the difference between the two.

    “Truth is much stranger than fiction when it comes to the criminal justice system”

    via Bitch Magazine

  2. piper kerman

    orange is the new black

    piper chapman

    prison

    bitch magazine

  1. This year, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Sundance’s best directing award for her second feature-length film, Middle of Nowhere. It’s about a young black woman who puts her life on hold while her husband is in prison. In research for the film, Ava conducted hundreds of interviews with women who visited loved ones behind bars. From the Fresh Air interview:

You get there early because the women want to get the full day. So they all arrive, and many of them will travel in the wee hours before dark, before visiting hours begin so they can be in line. And then the series of screenings. And then if one person has the wrong length of skirt, then that takes time — you’re behind her so you’ve got to wait for that. Bags are being checked. Children are involved. And then there may be issues with your incarcerated loved one even coming out. [There have] been several instances when we visited where the person that I was going to meet couldn’t come out that day. And yet, you’d gone through this whole trek to get there. These prisons are not centrally located either, so they’re usually a ways out, outside the city — certainly in California, they’re out in the high desert areas, so that’s quite a drive. And if you don’t have a car, then it’s quite a bus ride. So it’s an ordeal. …
And then you get in that chair, and you’re facing someone who you have to become reacquainted with. And you have to share what’s going on with you — it might be financial issues he can’t help with. And then also trying to balance that with what’s going on with him back there — it’s a very, very complicated experience.
View in High-Res

    This year, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Sundance’s best directing award for her second feature-length film, Middle of Nowhere. It’s about a young black woman who puts her life on hold while her husband is in prison. In research for the film, Ava conducted hundreds of interviews with women who visited loved ones behind bars. From the Fresh Air interview:

    You get there early because the women want to get the full day. So they all arrive, and many of them will travel in the wee hours before dark, before visiting hours begin so they can be in line. And then the series of screenings. And then if one person has the wrong length of skirt, then that takes time — you’re behind her so you’ve got to wait for that. Bags are being checked. Children are involved. And then there may be issues with your incarcerated loved one even coming out. [There have] been several instances when we visited where the person that I was going to meet couldn’t come out that day. And yet, you’d gone through this whole trek to get there. These prisons are not centrally located either, so they’re usually a ways out, outside the city — certainly in California, they’re out in the high desert areas, so that’s quite a drive. And if you don’t have a car, then it’s quite a bus ride. So it’s an ordeal. …

    And then you get in that chair, and you’re facing someone who you have to become reacquainted with. And you have to share what’s going on with you — it might be financial issues he can’t help with. And then also trying to balance that with what’s going on with him back there — it’s a very, very complicated experience.

  2. Ava DuVernay

    Middle of Nowhere

    prison