Justice In America

Justice In America

By The Appeal

Justice in America, hosted by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith, is a podcast for everyone interested in criminal justice reform— from those new to the system to experts who want to know more. Each episode we cover a new criminal justice issue. We explain how it works and look at its impact on people, particularly poor people and people of color. We’ll also interview activists, practitioners, experts, journalists, organizers, and others, to learn. By the end of the episode, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what drives mass incarceration and what can fix it.

Episodes

Episode 30: A Conversation with Rodney Spivey-Jones and Max Kenner

In January 2020 Josie Duffy Rice and her producer, Florence Barrau-Adams, traveled to Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon New York to interview Rodney Spivey-Jones and Max Kenner. Max is the founder and Executive Director of the Bard Prison Initiative, and Rodney received his bachelor’s degree from Bard College in 2017 through the Bard Prison Initiative. Rodney has been incarcerated for 17 years, and is currently incarcerated at Fishkill. Both are featured in the PBS documentary series College Behind Bars. They joined Josie to discuss why Max started BPI 20 years ago, Rodney's experience as part of BPI, and what he hopes to do upon his release.  For more information please visit theappeal.org
29/04/201h 6m

Episode 29: Schools in Prison

On this episode of Justice in America, Josie Duffy Rice and her co-host Derecka Purnell talk about education in prisons. They'll discuss the impact of having access to education, the dire lack of available programming, and what happened to prison education after the 1994 crime bill.  They're joined by Dyjuan Tatro and Wesley Caines, alumni of the Bard Prison Initiative. The Bard Prison Initiative is a college program offered through Bard College in six New York State prisons. It's also the subject of a critically acclaimed new documentary series on PBS, called College Behind Bars.  For transcripts and more information please visit theappeal.org.
22/04/201h 14m

Dyjuan Tatro and Wes Caines’ Book Recommendations

Wesley Caines is the Chief of Staff at the Bronx Defenders and an alum of the Bard Prison Initiative or BPI and Dyjuan Tatro, works at the Bard Prison Initiative as their Government Affairs Officer and he’s also an alumnus of the program.  Wes and Dyjuan joined host Josie Duffy Rice to talk about their reading recommendations. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
22/04/203m 22s

Interviewing the creators of College Behind Bars

In this bonus episode, Josie Duffy Rice and her co-host Derecka Purnell talk to Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, the creators of College Behind Bars. College Behind Bars, which was directed by Novick and produced by Botstein, is a four-episode documentary series about the Bard Prison Initiative, one of the most innovative and challenging prison education programs in the country. Josie and Derecka talk to Sarah and Lynn about the years they spent making the film, what they learned, and the future of prison education in America. For transcripts please visit theappeal.org
22/04/2037m 7s

Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein's Book Recommendations

Director Lynn Novick and Producer Sarah Botstein, the creators of College Behind Bars, join hosts Josie Duffy Rice and Derecka Purnell to talk about their book recommendations.   For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
22/04/203m 19s

Episode 28: School to Prison Pipeline

What is the school to prison pipeline, and how is it affecting children across America? On this episode of Justice in America, Josie and her co-host, Derecka Purnell, talk to Judith Browne Dianis, the Executive Director of the Advancement Project. They’ll discuss the forms that the school to prison pipeline takes, and the effects it has on poor, black, and brown kids in particular. For more information please visit theappeal.org
15/04/201h 11m

Judith Browne Dianis’ Book Recommendation

Judith Browne Dianis is the Executive Director of the Advancement Project. Judith joined host Josie Duffy Rice to talk about her reading recommendations. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
15/04/201m 0s

Episode 27: Junk Forensic Science

Everyone who has ever watched a crime procedural believes that forensic science is the most reliable way to tell whether someone is guilty or not. But is that true? The reality is that a lot of forensic science is not exactly science at all. On this episode of Justice in America, Josie Duffy Rice and her guest co-host, Zak Cheney Rice, look at faulty forensic science. Radley Balko, opinion journalist at the Washington Post and author of The Cadaver and the Country Dentist, joins. For show notes and more information visit theappeal.org.
08/04/201h 6m

Radley Balko's Book Recommendation

Radley Balko is an opinion journalist at the Washington Post and author of The Cadaver and the Country Dentist.  Radley joined host Josie Duffy Rice to talk about his reading recommendation. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
08/04/201m 28s

Episode 26: The Privatization of Prisons

On this episode of Justice Podcast, Josie Duffy Rice and guest co-host Donovan Ramsey look at the privatization of America’s criminal legal system. They go beyond just private prisons and look at all the ways the system has privatized corrections, including privatized probation, supervision, healthcare, and communications, and more. To discuss the issue, Bianca Tylek, Executive Director of Worth Rises, joins the show. Bianca Tylek’s Twitter handle: @biancatylek Worth Rises’s Twitter handle: @worthrises For show notes and more information visit theappeal.org.
01/04/201h 7m

Bianca Tylek's Book Recommendation

Bianca Tylek is the Executive Director of Worth Rises, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industry and ending the exploitation of those it touches. Bianca joined host Josie Duffy Rice to talk about her reading recommendations. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
01/04/201m 33s

Episode 25: Conversation with Sherrilyn Ifill

On this episode of Justice in America, Josie Duffy Rice and her guest co-host, Darnell Moore, talk to Sherrilyn Ifill about policing, civil rights, the criminal justice system, and more. Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the nation’s premier civil rights law organization. LDF was founded in 1940 by one of the most important civil rights lawyers in history, Thurgood Marshall, who later became Supreme Court justice. Ifill began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, before joining the staff of the LDF as an Assistant Counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years. Her 2007 book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” was highly acclaimed, and is credited with laying the foundation for contemporary conversations about lynching and reconciliation. Ifill is one of our heroes, and it was an honor to speak with her for this episode of Justice in America. For more information and show notes please visit theappeal.org
25/03/2053m 21s

Sherrilyn Ifill's Book Recommendations

Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the nation’s premier civil rights law organization. Sherrilyn joined hosts Josie Duffy Rice and Darnell Moore to talk about her book recommendations. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
25/03/203m 45s

Episode 24: Death Penalty

On this episode of Justice in America, Josie Duffy Rice, and guest co-host Darnell Moore, focus on the death penalty. Capital punishment remains one of the cruelest aspects of America’s criminal legal system. In America, over 2500 people are currently on death row. Last year, 19 people were executed. Josie and Darnell explore the history of the death penalty, including the short period in the 1970s where it was deemed unconstitutional, and examine its current use in America today. Joining them is guest State Attorney Aramis Ayala of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. State Attorney Ayala was the first black woman elected prosecutor in the state, and in 2016 made a decision to not seek the death penalty. She'll talk to Josie and Darnel about why she made that decision, and the pushback that she received after choosing not to seek the death penalty as prosecutor. For more information and show notes please visit theappeal.org
18/03/2054m 56s

State Attorney Aramis Ayala Book Recommendations

Aramis Ayala is the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. State Attorney Ayala joined Josie Duffy Rice to talk about her book recommendations. For show notes and more information please check out theappeal.org.
18/03/202m 10s

Episode 23: Criminalizing Mothers

One of the most devastating collateral consequences for someone involved in the criminal justice system is the potential destruction of their family – most commonly parents losing custody of kids and children being forced into foster care. On this episode of Justice in America, Josie Duffy Rice and her guest co-host Zak Cheney-Rice look at the relationship between the criminal justice system and family court, and examine how together they can havoc on American families. They are joined by Emma Ketteringham, the Managing Director of the Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice. For more information and show notes please visit theappeal.org
11/03/201h 9m

Emma Ketteringham's Book Recommendation

Emma Ketteringham is the Managing Director of the Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice. Emma joined Josie to talk about her book recommendation. For show notes and more resources, please visit theappeal.org.
11/03/201m 29s

Episode 22: Probation and Parole

About 2.3 million people are incarcerated in America, but about 6.7 million people are under some form of correctional control. The difference between these two numbers is due to the 4.5 million adults under community supervision, almost twice the number of people who are incarcerated. The two most common types of community supervision? Parole and probation. On this episode of Justice In America, host Josie Duffy Rice and guest host Donovan X. Ramsey explore probation and parole – what they mean, how they work, and how they contribute to mass incarceration. They’re joined by LaTonya Tate, the Founder and Executive Director of Alabama Justice Initiative in Birmingham, Alabama. LaTonya became a parole officer after she was forced to watch her son navigate the criminal justice system.  For more information and show notes please visit theappeal.org
04/03/2057m 34s

LaTonya Tate’s Book Recommendation

LaTonya Tate is the Executive Director and Founder of Alabama Justice Initiative based in Birmingham, Alabama. LaTonya joined Josie to talk about her book recommendation. For show notes and more resources, please visit theappeal.org.
04/03/201m 7s

Alicia Garza's Book Recommendation

Alicia Garza is an activist, writer, and organizer, who currently serves as Principal at Black Futures Lab. She is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter.   Alicia joined host Josie Duffy Rice to talk about her book recommendation. For show notes and more resources, please visit theappeal.org. 
26/02/2051s

Episode 21: Police Accountability

As civilians, how do we hold the police responsible for wrongdoing? On the first episode of Season 3, Josie Duffy and co-host Darnell Moore discuss different avenues of police accountability and explain why it’s so hard for the criminal justice system to hold police accountable. They are joined by Alicia Garza, an activist, writer, and organizer, who currently serves as Principal at Black Futures Lab. Alicia is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and has been a leader in the fight against police brutality and discriminatory policing, particularly in black communities.  For more information and show notes please visit theappeal.org
26/02/201h 8m

10 Questions Bonus: Zak Cheney Rice

The third season of Justice in America launches February 26. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal, each episode of Justice in America focuses on a different topic in the criminal justice system. Through conversation, storytelling, media, and interviews, the show sheds light on how our system functions, and the ways in which it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color. This season, the show features four guest co-hosts. Let’s meet one of the hosts, Zak Cheney Rice. For more information and to see Zak's book recommendations please visit theappeal.org
19/02/2015m 21s

10 Questions Bonus: Josie Duffy Rice

The third season of Justice in America launches February 26. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal, each episode of Justice in America focuses on a different topic in the criminal justice system. Through conversation, storytelling, media, and interviews, the show sheds light on how our system functions, and the ways in which it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color. Let’s learn some more about Josie Duffy Rice, here she is interviewed by Zak Cheney Rice. For more information and to see Josie's book recommendation please visit theappeal.org
19/02/2014m 0s

10 Questions Bonus: Donovan X. Ramsey

The third season of Justice in America launches February 26. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal, each episode of Justice in America focuses on a different topic in the criminal justice system. Through conversation, storytelling, media, and interviews, the show sheds light on how our system functions, and the ways in which it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color. This season, the show features four guest co-hosts. Let’s meet one of the hosts, Donovan X. Ramsey. For more information and to see Donovan's book recommendation please visit theappeal.org
19/02/2011m 40s

10 Questions Bonus: Derecka Purnell

The third season of Justice in America launches February 26. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal, each episode of Justice in America focuses on a different topic in the criminal justice system. Through conversation, storytelling, media, and interviews, the show sheds light on how our system functions, and the ways in which it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color. This season, the show features four guest co-hosts. Let’s meet one of the hosts, Derecka Purnell. For more information and to see Derecka's book recommendations please visit theappeal.org
19/02/2023m 48s

10 Questions Bonus: Darnell Moore

The third season of Justice in America launches February 26. You can find it on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hosted by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal, each episode of Justice in America focuses on a different topic in the criminal justice system. Through conversation, storytelling, media, and interviews, the show sheds light on how our system functions, and the ways in which it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color. This season, the show features four guest co-hosts. Let’s meet one of the hosts, Darnell Moore. For more information and to see Darnell's book recommendations please visit theappeal.org
19/02/209m 52s

Season 3 Welcome!

Justice in America is a podcast for everyone interested in criminal justice reform— from those new to the system to experts who want to know more. Each episode we cover a new criminal justice issue. We explain how it works and look at its impact on people, particularly poor people and people of color. We’ll also interview activists, practitioners, experts, journalists, organizers, and others, to learn. By the end of the episode, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what drives mass incarceration and what can fix it. Season 3, starts Feb 26, 2020. We'll discuss everything from police accountability, to forensic science, to probation and parole, and we’ll talk to leaders in this field, including those that have been directly impacted.  Host:  Josie Duffy Rice, writer, lawyer, and President of The Appeal, a news outlet that produces original journalism about the criminal justice system. Guest co-hosts: Darnell Moore, author of "No Ashes in the Fire", a critically acclaimed memoir of growing up black and queer in New Jersey. Donovan X. Ramsey, journalist and the author of "When Crack Was King", a forthcoming history of the crack epidemic.  Derecka Purnell, organizer, writer, lawyer, and the Deputy Director of the Spirit of Justice Center. Zak Cheney Rice, journalist at New York Magazine who covers race and politics.
12/02/201m 54s

Episode 20: Mariame Kaba and Prison Abolition

On the last episode of Season 2, Josie and Clint discuss prison abolition with Mariame Kaba, one of the leading activists and organizers in the fight against America’s criminal legal system and a contributing editor for The Appeal. Mariame discusses her own journey into this work, provides perspective on the leaders in this space, and helps us reimagine what the future of this system could look like. Mariame’s way of thinking about this system, and the vision of possibilities she provides, is an excellent send-off to our second season. For links to resources visit theappeal.org
20/03/191h 11m

Episode 19: Restorative Justice

On this episode, we talk about an alternative to the traditional criminal adversarial process: restorative justice. Restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm caused by wrongdoing, and values reconciliation, community-involvement, and accountability over punishment and retribution. We discuss the benefits, limitations, and potential of restorative justice. We also talk to Sonya Shah, an associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and a renowned restorative justice facilitator, trainer, and expert. Sonya is a survivor of child sexual abuse, and has worked extensively with survivors of sexual abuse and people who have committed sexual harm. In 2016 she founded The Ahimsa Collective, which offers non-punitive approaches to addressing and healing harm through the lenses of restorative and transformative justice. This episode also features audio from Danielle Sered, Executive Director of Common Justice.   For links to resources visit theappeal.org
13/03/191h 3m

Episode 18: Whatever happened to Clemency?

The pardon power is one of the strongest presidential powers in our constitution. The president alone has the ability to pardon or commute the sentence of any person convicted of a federal offense. (For those convicted of a state offense, usually it’s the governor who has that power.) But despite the fact that we imprison more people than ever, over the last few decades, presidents have been increasingly less likely to pardon people or commute sentences. On this episode, Clint and Josie discuss pardons and commutations, including some of the bizarre and fascinating decisions of presidents past. They also talk to clemency expert and NYU Law Professor Rachel Barkow about where Obama failed on this issue and the potential for a restructured process.   For links to resources visit theappeal.org
06/03/1959m 34s

Episode 17: Felony Murder

In prisons across America, people are serving decades-long sentences for crimes they didn’t commit. Some face a life sentence or even the death penalty. Yet there is no hope of exoneration because technically, these people aren’t innocent. They may not be guilty as a matter of fact, but they are guilty as a matter of law. On this episode, we dissect the felony murder doctrine and explore the various ways our system transfers culpability. We also talk to Marlon Peterson, an advocate, writer, and host of the podcast DEcarcerated. Marlon became a leader on this issue after he was convicted of felony murder and spent a decade in prison. He spoke about his experience in prison and the work he’s done since his release. For resources visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 2m

Episode 16: A Conversation with Kim Foxx

Today we are talking to Kim Foxx, the head prosecutor of Cook County in Illinois. Cook County, which includes 135 separate municipalities including Chicago, is the second largest county in America, and has a population bigger than 28 states. State’s Attorney Foxx was elected in 2016. She replaced Anita Alvarez, who had, to put it lightly, a disappointing record on criminal justice reform. Foxx’s election was a major victory for the criminal justice reform movement, and for progressive and racial justice organizers in Chicago. She is the first black woman to run the prosecutor’s office in Cook County. She is joining us today to discuss her past two years as state’s attorney—what’s been successful, what has been challenging, what obstacles she’s faced and how this job has changed her perspective on criminal justice reform. For links to resources visit theappeal.org.
01/03/1955m 21s

Episode 15: Crime, Justice, and the Media

News stories about crime are found in every local paper or evening newscast nationwide. But stories about our criminal justice system are much less common. So how does the way the media report on crime affect our perception of it? How should local and national media report on our criminal justice system? What obstacles are journalists and outlets facing? And, as a media consumer, what should you be aware of when you’re reading stories about crime and criminal justice? On this episode, we’ll be tackling all these questions and more! We talk to Wesley Lowery, National Correspondent with the Washington Post. We also have a special guest featured in this episode – Pam Colloff, from the New York Times and Pro Publica.  For links to resources visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 9m

Episode 14: Citizens United, Judicial Elections, and Mass Incarceration

How do judges affect mass incarceration, and what role do judicial elections play? Today we’re looking at a topic that doesn’t get a lot of attention - the relationship between judges, corporate money, big business interests, and mass incarceration. We talk to Alicia Bannon, Program Manager at the Brennan Center, about the role of Judicial Elections in mass incarceration, and how fear-mongering is used to incentivize harsh decision making. For links to resources visit theappeal.org
01/03/1959m 20s

Episode 13: Juvenile Justice

America has one of the harshest juvenile justice systems on the planet and is the only country in the world that sentences children to life without parole. On this episode, we focus on America’s juvenile justice system — What it looks like, who it’s housing, and how we got here. We also interview Abd’Allah Lateef, the Pennsylvania Coordinator for the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network a project of The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.  He is also the co-founder of the Redemption Project and chairman of the organization Life After Life. For links to resources, please visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 1m

Episode 12: The Criminalization of Poverty

On this episode, we explore the countless ways the criminal justice system criminalizes poverty—and homelessness in particular. From what is considered criminal to how it is punished, people that are poor or experiencing homelessness in America are punished exponentially more in our system. We talk to Sara Totonchi, the Executive Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, an Atlanta-based organization that, among other things, fights the criminalization of poverty in Georgia and throughout the South. Give it a listen! For links to resources, please visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 0m

Episode 11: Public Defense

On our first episode of season 2, we talk about one of the most important players in the criminal justice system – the public defender. What does it mean to be a public defender in America? Why do we have the right to counsel? And why is it important that all people have access to a zealous advocate, even those who may be guilty of serious crimes? We discuss all of this on this week’s episode. We also talk to Jon Rapping, the founder and President of Gideon’s Promise and a leader in the field of public defense. He and his wife started Gideon’s Promise with the goal of providing training, resources, and community for public defenders across the nation. The organization was the subject of the 2013 HBO documentary Gideon’s Promise, and Jon received the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2014. He talks to us about why he began this organization, the continued challenges, and the fundamental importance of public defenders in the lives of their clients. For more information please visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 6m

Justice In America Season 2 Welcome!

Each show we discuss a topic in the American criminal justice system and try to explain what it is and how it works. Season 2 we’ll be discussing everything from public defense to the death penalty to juvenile justice and more. Featuring interviews with Jon Rapping, Mariame Kaba, Sara Tontonchi, and Marlon Peterson, just to name a few. Hosts: Josie Duffy Rice is a Senior Strategist at the Justice Collaborative and Senior Reporter at The Appeal. Most of her work focuses on the impact that prosecutors have on communities in America, particularly for poor people and people of color. Clint Smith is a writer, a PhD student at Harvard who has spent a lot of time teaching in prisons and whose research is centered on putting the criminal justice system in a larger historical context.
01/03/191m 1s

Episode 10: A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates

For our last episode of the season, we are thrilled to have Ta-Nehisi Coates—an author and journalist who has published some of the most important and incisive work of our time, from A Case for Reparations to Between the World and Me. In 2015, Ta-Nehisi published a piece entitled Mass Incarceration and the Black Family, which looked at the history of mass incarceration and the ways it continues to devastate black communities.  We talk to him about race, mass incarceration, his list of suggested reading, and the responsibility of black leaders to address systemic injustice. We’ll be back this winter with more episodes. In the meantime, keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, you can always email us at justiceinamerica@theappeal.org Thank you for all your incredible support during season 1. Talk to you in a few months for season 2! For more information and resources please visit theappeal.org
01/03/191h 3m

Episode 9: How Democrats and Republicans Created Mass Incarceration

There are a few schools of thought regarding the origins of mass incarceration. Some blame Reagan and his” war on drugs,” while others blame Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill. Meanwhile, movies like Ava Duvernay’s 13th have drawn the direct parallels between slavery, Jim Crow, and our racist incarceration system. Each of these theories is correct, at least in part. Yes, it is undoubtedly true that mass incarceration cannot be divorced from prior systems of racial subjugation in America. And yes, Reagan and Clinton helped to perpetuate mass incarceration. But in her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, our guest Elizabeth Hinton, a professor of History and African American studies at Harvard, argues that the modern roots of mass incarceration can be traced even further back, to president Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson, a Democrat, is famous for helping usher in key Civil Rights victories, from the Voting Rights Act to the Civil Rights Act. And he spent much of his tenure fighting for low-income Americans, implementing a series of domestic policies that he called the War on Poverty. But he also pushed for harsher punishments and a larger law enforcement presence, particularly in communities of color. Under Johnson, the federal government started pouring tons of money into local law enforcement, which gave them the tools they needed to lock up millions of people. On this episode, we discuss how both parties helped perpetuate mass incarceration in the years immediately following the Civil Rights movement. We also discuss why it is that, during the 70s and 80s, black elected officials were some of the most ardent supporters of mass incarceration. Professor Hinton joins us to talk about how both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the mass incarceration system we have today. For more information and resources please visit theappeal.org
01/03/1948m 50s

Episode 8: Crimmigration

Historically immigration law and criminal law have functioned separately. But over the past few decades, we’ve seen them slowly merge, as the criminalization of immigrants increased. Now, under Trump, that criminalization is worse than ever, and is resulting in policies like family separation. On this episode, we talk to Alida Garcia, an attorney and Vice President of Advocacy at FWD.us, about America’s shameful trend of criminalizing immigrants.   For more information and resources please visit theappeal.org
01/03/1954m 35s

Episode 7: The New American Prosecutor

Over the past few years there’s been a growing movement, led by groups like Color of Change and National People’s Action, whose goal is to elect progressive prosecutors. From Philly to Chicago, Houston to Orlando, St. Louis to Denver, we’ve seen prosecutors concerned with justice and civil liberties beat those focused only on convictions and sentences. But what does it really mean to be a progressive prosecutor? And what comes next for the movement? On this episode, Josie and Clint look at how this movement got started and talk to Rashad Robinson, the Executive Director of Color of Change. For more information, links to resources, please visit theappeal.org
01/03/1949m 41s

Episode 6 - The Victims of Mass Incarceration

Often, when people talk about the criminal justice system, they talk in big numbers— the millions of people serving time, the billions of dollars mass incarceration costs each year, the hundreds of thousands in jail at any given moment. But talking in big numbers sometimes obscures the fact that we’re discussing real people on this show—human beings, not statistics. On this episode, we discuss who these people really are and how this system affects not only their lives but the lives of their friends and family, particularly their partners and children. In particular, we explore look at how mass incarceration hurts women with loved ones involved in the system. Our guest this episode is Gina Clayton, the Executive Director of Essie Justice Group, who joins us to discuss the phenomenal organization she has built focused on women with incarcerated loved ones. For more information please visit theappeal.org.
01/03/191h 5m

Episode 5: Excluded from Democracy

For an estimated 6.1 million Americans with felony convictions, their punishment extends all the way to the ballot box. In 48 states, people with felony convictions are barred from voting, either temporarily or permanently. And twelve states, including Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming, restrict at least some people’s voting rights—even after they have served their whole sentence, including supervised release. This episode we go into the history of what is commonly known as felon disenfranchisement. We look at the racist history of disenfranchisement laws and talk about where the laws remain especially restrictive. We also learn more about Desmond Meade, a community leader in Florida, and his fight to win a high-stakes ballot referendum in the state this November. And we talk to Norris Henderson, the Executive Director of Voices of the Experienced, or VOTE, in New Orleans. Norris is a formerly-incarcerated community leader and advocate, who played a big part in a recent effort to re-enfranchise people in Louisiana. We’ll talk to him about his experience, the uphill battle in Louisiana, and their exciting victory. For more information, please visit theappeal.org.
01/03/1959m 58s

Episode 4: A conversation with John Legend

John Legend isn’t just one of the most talented musicians of our time—he’s also a leading activist on criminal justice reform. On this episode, Justice in America talks to Legend, singer, songwriter, actor, producer, founder of #FREEAMERICA.  #FREEAMERICA is a campaign designed to change the national conversation of our country's misguided criminal justice policies. John sat down with Josie in Los Angeles, where they talked about prosecutors, bail, immigration, and more. To learn more about #FREEAMERICA, check out their website. Earlier this week, John wrote a great op-ed for The Washington Post on the racist origins of Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury system. In June, he co-wrote this piece for CNN with Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson on the need to end cash bail. Here’s another op-ed he wrote on police brutality in 2014, after the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner And yet another piece by John on ending juvenile life without parole in his home state of Ohio.
01/03/1932m 34s

Episode 3: Who Built Mass Incarceration? Prosecutors

Who has had the biggest impact on the growth of our incarceration system? It’s not the judge, the jury, or the legislator. It’s not the police, and it's certainly not the President. It’s someone else—the prosecutor. Prosecutors are getting more attention now than ever, but many people still don’t know what they do.   Prosecutors don’t just play an important role at trial. It is prosecutors who recommend what bail a judge should set, prosecutors who decide whether a person should face criminal charges and what those charges should be, and prosecutors who control the plea deal process. Perhaps more than anyone else, prosecutors are responsible for our mass incarceration epidemic. On this episode, we’ll explore the impact prosecutors have and take a look at how they wield their immense power. We’ll talk about the problems with prosecutors, and their excessive power, negative incentives, and almost total lack accountability. We’ll also talk to John Pfaff, a lawyer, economist, and prosecutor expert, whose book, Locked In, examines the power of prosecutors.  Want to know more? Check out theappeal.org
01/03/1950m 37s

Episode 2: The 94% - Plea deals

TV courtroom dramas would have you believe that the trial is a major part of the criminal justice process. But most defendants don’t go to trial. Instead, most defendants decide to plead guilty—even when they are innocent. What is a plea deal, exactly, and how does it function? Who negotiates a plea deal and who approves it? What are the benefits to the state? What are the benefits for defendants? And more importantly, how do plea deals reduce protections for individuals ensnared in the criminal justice system? On this episode, we’ll answer all these questions and more. We’ll also be talking to Professor Alexandra Natapoff, a law professor at University of California, Irvine, and one of the foremost experts on plea bargaining in America.   For more on plea bargaining, check out our website at https://theappeal.org/topics/podcasts/
01/03/191h 0m

Episode 1: Justice for the Rich, Money Bail

States and cities across the nation are talking about reforming the money bail system. But what does that mean? What exactly is bail? Who does it harm and who does it benefit?  And does bail reform really work? On our first episode, we’re learning all we can about the bail system.
01/03/1951m 45s

Welcome to Justice In America

Each show we discuss a topic in the American criminal justice system and try to explain what it is and how it works. Hosts Josie Duffy Rice: A senior strategist with The Justice Collaborative and a Senior Reporter with The Appeal. Josie is a lawyer and writer living in Atlanta. Most of my work focuses on the impact that prosecutors have on communities in America, particularly for poor people and people of color. Clint Smith: A writer, a Ph.D. student living in DC who has spent a lot of time teaching in prisons and his research is centered on putting our system of criminal justice in a larger historical context.
01/03/191m 40s
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