Slavery once split up Black families. Today, prisons do the same thing.
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
6d ago
The modern prison system's origins in slavery can be seen in telltale signs throughout the system. The system of chattel slavery had no incentive to keep Black families together—in fact, separation was deliberately used to punish the enslaved. Today, the prison system mirrors this in its treatment of families of the incarcerated. Prisoners are denied the opportunity to be fully present parents by the nature of their condition, and further separation from family through visitation denial, relocation, and other means are used as a way to punish and torture inmates. Ernest Boykin, a father of sev ..read more
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Double punishment—the truth about supervised release
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
2w ago
It's been 40 years since supervised release was first introduced into the federal court system by the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act. Supervised release, which replaced federal parole and probation, is a secondary sentence judges can impose that only comes into effect once people have already served their time in prison. The legality of the widespread use of supervised release, not to mention its overall constitutionality, is highly controversial. Jabari Zakiya joins Rattling the Bars to make the case for the abolition of supervised release. Studio Production: David Hebden, Cameron Granadino Post ..read more
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54 years later, this former Black Panther is still behind bars
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
3w ago
For the past 54 years, Thomas 'Tahaka' Gaither has lived behind bars as a political prisoner. A former member of the Black Panther Party Baltimore Chapter, Gaither was a close associate of 'Marshall' Eddie Conway Jr., who spent his last years as host of Rattling the Bars. Although Gaither was released on parole decades ago, he was forced to return to prison in the late 1990s when Gov. Glendening revoked parole for anyone who had received a life sentence. Tahaka Gaither and his daughter, Tara, return to Rattling the Bars to discuss his life, their family's shared struggle to release T ..read more
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Prison deprived her of a father—she's fighting to get him back
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
1M ago
The prison system keeps millions of families from celebrating Father's Day together. For Alexia Pitter of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, separation from her father, Gasi Pitter, has been a lifelong reality. Kept from even embracing her father during prison visits as a child, Alexia's struggle to build and maintain a relationship with Gasi has required taking on the entire prison system. After believing for many years her father would never be released, Alexia is now fighting for her father's release. Rattling the Bars explores this story of a brave daughter's love, and one ..read more
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The prison system isn't 'broken'—it's designed to traumatize Black people en masse
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
1M ago
The lived reality of the racist prison system can get lost in the swirl of facts and figures surrounding mass incarceration. Frigid cells in winters and sweltering conditions in summers; the volatility and capriciousness of hostile guards and correctional staff; food barely fit for human consumption; isolation from one's community and deprivation from the routines and small freedoms that made up one's identity prior to incarceration. The trauma of such an experience is undeniable, and extends far beyond prison walls—from overpoliced communities subjected to the constant presence of police surv ..read more
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Leonard Peltier and the history of the American Indian Movement w/Rachel Thunder
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
1M ago
In 1977, American Indian Movement member Leonard Peltier was convicted of the murder of two FBI agents, and has remained a political prisoner of the US ever since. Peltier's conviction has long been contested by activists and legal experts. Despite the recantation of three key witnesses, his case has never been brought back to trial. Peltier has been eligible for parole since 1992, and the federal government has ignored calls to free him for more than 30 years. Rachel Dionne Thunder joins Rattling the Bars to discuss Peltier's case and the radical vision of the American Indian Movement which t ..read more
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The American Indian Movement and Leonard Peltier w/Ward Churchill
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
1M ago
Despite now spending 47 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, Leonard Peltier continues to be denied parole by the federal government of the United States. Why has the US so obstinately refused to free Peltier, despite decades of international outcry? The answer lies in the threat posed by what Peltier represents—the demands of the Indigenous liberation movement for sovereignty and justice after centuries of US settler colonialism. Historian Ward Churchill joins Rattling the Bars for a discussion on Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement, COINTELPRO, and more. Studio Product ..read more
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The reality of Black historical trauma makes healing a form of justice
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
1M ago
The oppression of Black people is more than just a historical or political question. The accumulated harms of centuries of slavery, segregation, mass incarceration, and racism in all forms have a psychological and medical effect, in addition to political and economic ones. Trauma, after all, describes the physical injury of the brain as a result of harmful experiences. At the scale of communities and generations, such trauma can be passed down and reproduced for decades, and even centuries. In the first of a two-part conversation, traumatologist Dr. DaMond Holt explains the medical r ..read more
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'Help us to get better': Maryland is failing women released from prison
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
2M ago
Critics of the prison industrial complex have long noted the system's failure to properly rehabilitate those who are locked away in its bowels. Christina Merryman and Ameena Deramous return to Rattling the Bars for the second part of a two-part interview on the reality facing prisoners in Maryland's only women's correctional facility. Studio Production: David Hebden Post-Production: Cameron Granadino Help us continue producing Rattling the Bars by following us and becoming a monthly sustainer. Sign up for our newsletter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Donate to support this podcast ..read more
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The 'Women's Cut'—Maryland's only women's prison
Rattling The Bars
by The Real News Network
3M ago
For decades, prisoners' rights advocates have called on the State of Maryland to address its flagrant discrimination against prisoners housed in the state's sole women's prison. As The Real News has previously reported, conditions in the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women are akin to "torture," and the lack of resources and services dedicated to incarcerated women amounts to state-sanctioned, gender-based discrimination. Christina Merryman and Ameena Deramous, both former inmates in the MCIW—or the "Women's Cut"—join Rattling the Bars, explaining the conditions faced by incarcerated wom ..read more
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