Since 2013, Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of The Chris Hedges Report, has taught college courses in drama, literature, philosophy, and history at East Jersey State Prison (aka “Rahway”) and other New Jersey prisons. In one such course, after reading plays by Amiri Baraka and August Wilson, among others, Hedges’ students wrote a play of their own. The play, “Caged,” would eventually be published and performed at The Passage Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey, for a month-long run in 2018 to sold-out audiences. In his latest book, “Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison,” Hedges chronicles the journey he and his class embarked on together. Joining Mansa Musa on Rattling the Bars, Hedges speaks about his book and the transformations he witnessed among the men he taught behind prison walls.
Chris Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a columnist at ScheerPost. He formerly hosted the program Days of Revolt, produced by TRNN, and currently hosts The Chris Hedges Report. Hedges is the author of several books, including “America: The Farewell Tour”; “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” and “Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison.” Read the transcript of this video: https://therealnews.com/chris-hedges-… Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino
In the conclusion of The Long Road Home, Chris Hedges looks at the numerous hurdles faced by prisoners released into society, the toll of reentry on their families, the importance of educational programs in restoring self-esteem and setting goals, and the difficult process of parole. Hedges begins by speaking with Russ Owen, who spent 32 years in prison, on the day of his release from East Jersey State Prison. Owen, who graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University and earned a doctorate in Pastoral Care in prison, began work recently as a community organizer with New Jersey Together. He says that although he is free, he struggles to cope with the deep loneliness that defined his life in prison.
Hedges speaks with Russ Owen’s mother, Mae Owen, along with four other former prisoners: Boris Franklin, who spent 11 years in prison; Ron Pierce, who spent 30 years in prison; Robert Luma, whose nickname is Kabir and who spent 16 years in prison; and Thomas Dollard, who spent 30 years in prison. All were Chris’s students in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University to prisoners in the New Jersey State prison system. Collectively, they spent 119 years in prison.
Chris Hedges interviews writers, intellectuals, and dissidents, many banished from the mainstream, in his half-hour show, The Chris Hedges Report. He gives voice to those, from Cornel West and Noam Chomsky to the leaders of groups such as Extinction Rebellion, who are on the front lines of the struggle against militarism, corporate capitalism, white supremacy, the looming ecocide, as well as the battle to wrest back our democracy from the clutches of the ruling global oligarchy.
What would cause a former cop to cross the thin blue line and use his camera to monitor law enforcement and hold police accountable? For well-known police auditor James Madison, it was a fraught encounter with a police officer who threatened to falsely arrest him on his own property for filming him. In this week’s PAR, we speak to Madison about his conversion from cop to cop watcher, and about the deep issues that plague law enforcement.
In a recent piece for Protean magazine entitled “The American Prison System’s War on Reading,” Alex Skopic writes, “Across the United States, the agencies responsible for mass imprisonment are trying to severely limit incarcerated people’s access to the written word—an alarming trend, and one that bears closer examination.” From outright banning books and letting prison libraries fall into decay to the intrusion of for-profit electronic reading services that inmates have to pay for, the assault on prisoners’ ability to read books while incarcerated is one of many calculated cruelties that make the US carceral system so inhumane.
In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with Skopic about the American prison system’s war on reading and its deep (and racist) historical roots. Alex Skopic is a freelance writer from Springville, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Anthracite Unite, Current Affairs, and Vastarien: A Literary Journal, among other places.
Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/why-us-prison…
There has been an explosion of incarceration in rural communities across America. PAR explores the profit motive that has stimulated this rapid increase in our carceral complex with guest Otto the Watchdog, a first amendment auditor.
The battle over the right to record police is far from over. That’s because a case pending over a routine traffic stop in Lakewood, Colorado, where police interfered with a citizen journalist recording, could have a huge impact on a controversial legal precedent which shields cops from legal liability.
End Qulified Immunity Protections, & Civil Asset Forfeiture. Hold Cops Accountable.
Cops who break the law must be held accountable for their illegal actions !!!
This is also why you need to tell the cop that he is about to violate your rights and will lose his qualified immunity. Otherwise he can claim he didn’t know that law or right and use the qualified immunity as a defense.
Get it right in your heads people. “To protect and serve” means themselves.
Qualified immunity isn’t a matter that will be addressed by police reform. It’s part of the holding accountable of elected officials.
If cops didn’t break the law. These people who record them would not need to record the cops
In “this day and age…” Why do cops NOT know the law?
That cop who try to obstruct them from recording definitely has more issues under the radar and he’s a ticking bomb.
this is America cops should lose their pensions three strikes and they’re out!!😎
That would be three justice systems.
One for police, one for the wealthy, one for the rest of us.
And PlEASE leave a comment for copwatcher Abade aka Liberty Freak, his law suit may become case law that protects your right to record the police! So make sure to give him some kindness and support as he will be turning himself into law enforcement and will be incarcerated for a few months. So this is your chance to share your thoughts with him before he goes inside. Thank you! -taya
What an incredible episode!!! I especially love it when you break things down and illustrate clearly how our system has “run amuck” and been abused to undermine & sabotage itself.
“Qualified Impunity” is such a clever, creative and accurate play on words. I would love to see that term widely adopted because I would hope that this shift might become a catalyst for reform by bringing a better understanding of just how broken our system is; and how close we may be to losing our democracy itself! It is being attacked and undermined in so many ways right now from so many sides…
If ignorance of the law is no excuse for civilians ignorance of our rights should be no excuse for the law!
Since this video was from Colorado it would make sense to mention that, at the time of this report, a new police accountability law was about to go into effect. Since then several cops, notably Loveland PD, have been held accountable with this law. As for my opinion I would like to say, no one has done more to end qualified immunity than corrupt cops all over the US.
If cleaning up neighborhoods changes the culture by changing the way people feel, then cities have an interest in leaving them neglected to justify dumping more money into police presence. It’s business as usual.
There are three types of versions of laws, the one for the poor aka the “criminal class” and then the one for government officials/LEOs, and finally the one for the elites/the rich who line the pockets of said govt officials & LEOs
I think we now know why the police are no longer required to learn the law before claiming to “enforce the law”.
Not knowing the law lets the police officers claim “I didn’t know the law” and the courts say it was an “honest mistake” and let them off with a warning to do better.
Oh and…….”qualified immunity” sounds like a “Jim Crow” law. It’s sickening that such a perversion of our Constitutional Rights is allowed!
Something to keep in mind. Until privatized, for profit, publicly traded prisons are done away with none of this tyranny will end.
I’ve always said that one of the main goals of 1st Amendment auditor’s is to remove the sovereign from the state 👍💯👍
Driver: I’m just defending myself here. You really have nothing to fear from me. I’m not out to get you. So can you kindly just cite or warn me and we can go on our way?
Wait, qualified immunity gets it’s power by proving that the law enforcement officer was ignorant of the law? Make it make sense somebody please.
He’s absolutely right! The US does have an under-incarceration problem! Trump, Stone, Flynn, Barr, Bannon, Gaetz, McConnell, Jason and Stephen Miller, Ron Johnson, Shitweasel Jr, Ivanka, Kushner, Gym Jordan, the insurrectionists, etc…
And for the record: If there’s one thing America is suffering from, it is not “under-incarceration.” We’re number one in the world in incarceration. The United States currently has over 2.1 million total prisoners. The prison population in 1972 was 200,000, almost 2 million less than it is today.Highest to Lowest – Prison Population TotalHighest to Lowest – Prison Population Totalhttps://www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison-population-total?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All
As you can see, we have about 1/5 of the population of China, yet have more people in jail than the world’s most-populous nation. And Tom Cotton probably found out that 1 in 4 adult male black Americans have been in jail, and thinks we can easily bump that to 2 or 3 out of 4 with just a little bit of creative thinking by police and the courts. What a deftly subtle dog whistle that nobody picked up on!
Oh, and he’s not too fond of women either:
And just a reminder to that freak of nature Tom Cotton, we are the only country in the entire world that sentences juveniles to life without the possibility of parole.Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview | The Sentencing ProjectTwenty-five states and the District of Columbia have banned life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles; in a… Read More »https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/juvenile-life-without-parole/
Also, we were literally allowed to give juveniles the death penalty until Roper v Simmons was decided in 2005.The Juvenile Death Penalty Prior to Roper v. SimmonsThe death penalty for juvenile offenders was banned by the Supreme Court in 2005. This section includes excerpts from ” The Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Death Sentences and Executions for Juvenile Crimes January 1973 – February 28, 2005 ” by Professor Victor L. The report is a comprehensive review…https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/juveniles/prior-to-roper-v-simmons
So carceral sociopath Cotton must have achieved his first erection in decades, practically lactating over the thought of incarcerating vulnerable people, knowing Black and Brown people are over represented. And this must cheer him up!
Gotta feed the for-profit Prison Industrial Ghoul Complex.
Tom Cotton dreams of inheriting the High-Priest of Diahrrea Gargling’s hate-cult, and riding their adulation to a throne crafted from the bones of his libtard foes, but you ain’t likable enough, your creepness. If Hillary wasn’t likable, you’re actively, off-puttingly, seriously-we’re-shipwrecked-in-the-uncanny-valley-level unlikable. Looking forward to watching you fail, though.