THE 70 million podcast

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season 2, episode 7

A Pregnancy That Changed Texas Law, Part 1

Shandra Williams and Diane Wilson. Photo: Deborah Valcin.

Shandra Williams and Diane Wilson. Photo: Deborah Valcin.

08.26.19

Shandra Williams had experienced five miscarriages by the time she and her husband Dawayne became pregnant with their son. Then she was arrested. Reporter Rowan Moore Gerety travels to Victoria, Texas, where Williams’ harrowing story of being pregnant behind bars unknowingly launched a reform movement.

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Season 2, Episode 6

Comedian Felonious Munk Stands Up for Reform

Felonious Munk. Photo by Xilla Valentine.

Felonious Munk. Photo by Xilla Valentine.

08.12.19

Comedian Felonious Munk was among the 13,000 formerly incarcerated people whose voting rights Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe restored in 2018. 70 Million creator Juleyka Lantigua-Williams talks with Munk about the years he spent in prison, the shock of losing his freedom, and his crusade for sensible justice reform.

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Season 2, Episode 5

An Open and Shut Case, Reopened

Mark Denny with a customer at his barbershop. Photo by Kunjo.

Mark Denny with a customer at his barbershop. Photo by Kunjo.

08.12.19

At 17, Mark Denny was wrongfully convicted of a rape and robbery in Brooklyn. It took nearly 30 years for that conviction to be overturned⁠—and it might never have happened without help from the same office that prosecuted him. Reporter Sabine Jansen tells the story of the Brooklyn Conviction Review Unit, the DAs who re-investigate their colleagues’ work, and the collaboration that finally set an innocent man free.

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Season 2, Episode 4

The work of closing a notorious jail

Inez Bordeaux holds up a sign while doing street outreach in north St. Louis to raise awareness about the Close the Workhouse campaign. Photo: Carolina Hidalgo.

Inez Bordeaux holds up a sign while doing street outreach in north St. Louis to raise awareness about the Close the Workhouse campaign. Photo: Carolina Hidalgo.

08.05.19

Five years after Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer galvanized criminal justice reform activists in St. Louis, they're gaining serious momentum to shut down the city's notorious Workhouse jail. Reporter Carolina Hidalgo spent time with the Close the Workhouse campaign and Arch City Defenders, their supporters, and detractors.

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Season 2, Episode 3

How BAIL SHACKLES WOMEN OF COLOR

Tamiki Banks has become the sole breadwinner since her husband has been in custody for the past two years—without being convicted of any crime. Photo: Pamela Kirkland.

Tamiki Banks has become the sole breadwinner since her husband has been in custody for the past two years—without being convicted of any crime. Photo: Pamela Kirkland.

07.29.19

Tamiki Banks’ life was turned upside down when her husband was arrested, leaving her the sole breadwinner and caregiver to their twins. More than two years later, she’s still struggling, and he’s still in custody, even though he hasn’t been convicted of any crime. From Atlanta, Pamela Kirkland reports on the heavy burden women of color like Tamiki bear when a loved one is jailed.

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Season 2, episode 2

When Disability Requires a Different Approach

Kade Threadgill faced 5 years incarceration, until diagnosis led prosecutors to seek probation. Photo: Justin Katigbak.

Kade Threadgill faced 5 years incarceration, until diagnosis led prosecutors to seek probation. Photo: Justin Katigbak.

07.22.19

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, known as I/DD, are overrepresented behind bars. One reason is that police officers, lawyers, and correctional staff don’t always know how to meet their needs. Reporter Cheryl Green brings us to Oregon, where case managers translate their needs for a system that’s not set up to accommodate them -- and where the proper diagnosis is the difference between incarceration and freedom.

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Season 2, Episode 1

Marching Toward Reform in New Orleans

Retired Judge Calvin Johnson has been working on reforming cash bail in New Orleans for the past decade.   Photo: Cheryl Gerber.

Retired Judge Calvin Johnson has been working on reforming cash bail in New Orleans for the past decade. Photo: Cheryl Gerber.

7.15.19

For years, to fund itself, New Orleans’ criminal legal system has relied on bail, fines and fees levied on the city’s poorest. But there are signs of change on the horizon, with a groundswell of community action and two landmark federal rulings in the last year. Reporter Eve Abrams takes us inside some of the big shifts happening in the Big Easy.

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Season 1, Episode 10

Are Some of the Formerly Incarcerated Owed Reparations?

Hallway at the Hayward Juvenile Assessment Center in California. Photo: Liza Veale.

Hallway at the Hayward Juvenile Assessment Center in California. Photo: Liza Veale.

10.29.18

To close out season one, we invited two legal experts, Christina Swarns, President and Attorney-in-Charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York and Scott Hechinger, Senior Staff Attorney & Dir. of Policy at the Brooklyn Defender Services, to look at what it would mean for the United States to provide financial reparations for individuals who have spent most of their lives behind bars. Moderated by 70 Million’s creator and executive producer, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, the discussion considers current and plausible pathways to bring reparations, restitution, and other types of restorative justice to the formerly incarcerated.



Season 1, Episode 9

How New Orleans Could Set a New Course for Bail Reform

Adrian Caliste, lead plaintiff in Caliste v. Cantrell in New Orleans. Photo: Sonia Paul.

Adrian Caliste, lead plaintiff in Caliste v. Cantrell in New Orleans. Photo: Sonia Paul.

10.22.18

Reporter: Sonia Paul.

New Orleans could become the battleground for bail reform. The city has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world. And most people are there because they can’t pay their bail. The current arrangement with the local bail industry gives the impression that judges there could have a financial conflict of interest when setting bail. In this episode, Sonia Paul digs into how an ongoing lawsuit, pretrial consequences of bail, and poverty, bias, and algorithms come into play.

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Season 1, EPisode 8

In Miami, Jailing Fewer, Treating More

Justin Volpe, peer specialist at the Criminal Mental Health Project, delivers medication to program participants in Miami. Photo Credit: Daniel Rivero.

Justin Volpe, peer specialist at the Criminal Mental Health Project, delivers medication to program participants in Miami. Photo Credit: Daniel Rivero.

10.15.18

Reporters: WLRN’s Nadege Green and Daniel Rivero.

Like in much of the country, jails in Miami-Dade County double as de facto mental health facilities for people with mental health issues cycling through the criminal justice system. But Miami-Dade’s Criminal Mental Health Project has taken the lead in addressing the needs of this population. Now it is a national model for how to tackle the interplay between mental illness and criminal justice, while driving down recidivism and jailing rates in the process. This episode is a special collaboration with Miami’s WLRN radio station, whose reporters Nadege Green and Daniel Rivero meet the judge who started the program and see how counselors, peer specialists, and officers are focusing on treatment and services rather than arrests.

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Season 1, Episode 7

Undocumented Immigrants Are Tethered to ICE, and Private Companies, by Ankle Monitors

Floricel Liborio Ramos in Northern California.

Floricel Liborio Ramos in Northern California.

10.08.18.

Reporter: Ryan Katz.

A handful of companies are making millions off ankle monitors strapped to undocumented immigrants in ICE custody. The makers pitch the monitors as an alternative to being jailed, but are they simply another form of bondage? Reporter Ryan Katz looks at what life is life while wearing one of these monitors. He untangles the complicated web of ICE, immigration bail agent companies, and the attorneys fighting them.

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Season 1, Episode 6

in one State, An Opioid Crisis Led Police to Start An Angel Program

Tito Rodriguez, a Care Advocate for PAARI, the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative. Photo Credit: Maria Murriel.

Tito Rodriguez, a Care Advocate for PAARI, the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative. Photo Credit: Maria Murriel.

10.01.18

Reporter: Maria Murriel.

In Massachusetts, Gloucester PD started an "angel program" to help people in the grip of opioid addiction get help. Instead of arresting people for opioid-related crimes, police directed them to treatment programs and resources. The angel program eventually grew into PAARI, the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative. It’s now a national program. Reporter Maria Murriel visits the original program to see how it all works.  

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Season 1, Episode 5

One State Is Disrupting the Pipeline from Foster Care to Jail

Will Clark on his balcony in his home. He’s been living with his resource family, the Huson’s, for the past year. Photo credit: Liza Veale.

Will Clark on his balcony in his home. He’s been living with his resource family, the Huson’s, for the past year. Photo credit: Liza Veale.

09.24.18

Reporter: Liza Veale.

By age 17, over half of young people in foster care have already been convicted of a crime or spent a night in jail. After they age out, a quarter will go to jail or get in trouble with the law within the first two years. California is determined to keep foster youth out of jail. Reporter Liza Veale profiles two young people who are making their way out of the system, and talks with policy makers and social service workers trying to redirect the foster-care-to-prison pipeline.

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Season 1, Episode 4

Putting women already in jail first

Client Advocate Catherine O’Neill (left) of Still She Rises with her client Linda Meachum. Photo credit: Nissa Rhee.

Client Advocate Catherine O’Neill (left) of Still She Rises with her client Linda Meachum. Photo credit: Nissa Rhee.

9.17.18

Reporter: Nissa Rhee

Oklahoma locks up women and girls at a higher rate than anywhere else in the US. Black mothers bear the burden of this crisis, which can curtail accessing public benefits and lower the chances of keeping their children. But a promising new public defender's office in Tulsa have found a way to change some women’s fates. Reporter Nissa Rhee goes inside a women’s jail for our story.

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Season 1, episode 3

reform activists and a new D.a. Find Common Ground

A bail bonds agency welcomes business next door to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. A federal judge recently ruled the county’s bail practices unconstitutional. Photo credi: Ruxandra Guidi.

A bail bonds agency welcomes business next door to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. A federal judge recently ruled the county’s bail practices unconstitutional. Photo credi: Ruxandra Guidi.

09.10.18

Reporter: Ruxandra Guidi. 

Activists in Houston were galvanized by events in Ferguson in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown. First, they took to the streets in protest. Then they started organizing. Not long after, they found a kindred spirit in the most unlikely person: a candidate for the DA office. Reporter Ruxandra Guidi chronicles how activists and reformers are succeeding in cutting the jail population, diverting drug arrests, and increasing accountability for local police.

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Season 1, episode 2

veterans COurts give soldiers a way back

Sharalis Canales, Outreach Specialist at the Boston Veterans Court. Photo credit: Heidi Shin.

Sharalis Canales, Outreach Specialist at the Boston Veterans Court. Photo credit: Heidi Shin.

09.03.18

Reporter: Heidi Shin.

For veterans, run-ins with the law don’t always have to mean jail time. Thanks to Veterans Court in Boston, which helps in finding treatment for PTSD, getting sober, and finding work. Reporter Heidi Shin talks to an Iraq and Afghanistan vet about his struggles with alcohol and PTSD, and his experience through the Veterans Court program. Heidi also talks to the judges, outreach specialists, and counselors about diverting veterans away from the prison pipeline. 

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Heidi Shin would like to give special thanks to Professor Ronald Kessler at Harvard Medical School, Elana Newman at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Scott Swaim and Chris Deutsch at Justice for Vets, and Judge Eleanor Sinnott and the Boston Veterans Court Team. 


Season 1, episode 1

Locals divided between diversion and border security

photo credit: Pima County Safety & Justice

photo credit: Pima County Safety & Justice

08.27.18

Reporter: Jesse Alejandro Cottrell.

In Pima County, where Tucson is located, formerly incarcerated individuals and local government officials have joined efforts to send fewer people to jail. Meanwhile, a federal program designed to stop drug and human trafficking at the border is also sending people to jail for months over traffic violations and minor drug offenses. Reporter Jesse Alejandro Cottrell explores just how complicated it can be to reform a local criminal justice system.

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