This podcast explores why and how people are punished in the United States and throughout the world, ranging from criminal punishment to disciplining children. Each episode features a fifteen minute interview with a punisher (e.g., a judge or parent), someone punished (e.g., convicts or children), or those who study punishment (e.g., academics). So listen up...or be punished.
Prison is as American as apple pie. And unlike apple pie, the modern prison system actually began in the United States. Today's guest, Professor Michael Meranze, not only discusses the origins of American prisons with us, but some of early incarceration's rather grislier details.
You can listen here, or if you haven't iTunes then here.
Few things occupy a more terrifying place in the modern mindset than medieval prisons. According to Professor Guy Geltner, however, this historical conception is far from the truth. While medieval prisons were no paradise, they were, in many important ways, not nearly as bad as penal conditions today. How can that be? Listen up and find out!
You can listen here on iTunes, or if you haven't iTunes, here.
Given American prisons' overcrowding and expense, judges have increasingly looked for alternatives to incarceration. Probation, or releasing convicts in lieu of serving prison time, has proven especially popular. Professor Megan Sacks, a former probation officer, fills us in on the pluses and perils of probation, the utter failure(s) of parole, and her own work on the front lines.
Listen to the episode here, or if you haven't iTunes, here.
In our final episode on mass incarceration in the United States, we speak to Jonathan Simon, among the most influential sociologists currently breathing. According to Professor Simon, all three branches of federal and state government, not to mention us voters, are ultimately responsible for the nation's repressive and wasteful prison system.
You can find the episode here, or if you haven't iTunes, then here.
Also check out Professor Simon's latest work, Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear, here.
The United States, despite its plummeting crime rate, continues to imprison people en masse. According to today's guest, the nation's incarceratory zeal constitutes a literal epidemic, comparable to the AIDS outbreak or the rising rates of obesity. How did we get here? How do we get out? Listen up and find out!
You can download the episode on iTunes here, or, if you haven't iTunes, here.
The United States is the only industrialized Western nation that executes its own citizens. Why is this? Is this a good or a bad thing? In today's episode we explore these questions with Professor David Garland, perhaps the leading expert on capital punishment in the United States.
You can check out the episode on iTunes here, or, if you haven't iTunes, then here.
Also check out Professor Garland's excellent book on the death penalty, Peculiar Institution: America's Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition, here. And if that isn't enough, why not read Justice John Paul Stevens's review of it?
American criminal justice has long concerned itself with finding the most dangerous criminals and separating them from society. The problem with this, according to today's guest, is determining exactly who the most dangerous criminals are. What do Charles Manson and a fellow incarcerated for life for stealing a pizza pie have in common? Listen up and find out!
Listen here on iTunes or, if you do not have iTunes, here.
In the past few years, the idea of restorative justice has gained traction as an alternative theory of punishment. This simple idea involves having offenders and victims meet face to face, and the latter then explaining how he or she has been injured by the former. While opponents of restorative justice have labeled it hopelessly naive, today's guest, Professor Kim Cook, believes restorative justice may be an antidote to needless incarceration.
In the second part of our two-part series on Hell, we discuss the different views of what Hell is like. According to Protestant Pastor Edward Fudge, the Bible points in a single direction. Whether you agree, disagree, or don't really have an opinion either way, Pastor Fudge provides excellent insight into how the ultimate punishment is understood by many people today.
You can listen to the podcast here, or here if you do not have iTunes.
You can purchase Pastor Fudge's book, The Fire That Consumes, here.
In today's episode we tackle the ultimate punishment of all, none other than Hell. Hell scholar Alan Bernstein discusses how the concept of eternal punishment has varied and evolved throughout European and Middle Eastern history. Our subject may be Hell, but this episode is Heaven to listen to.
You can listen to the episode on iTunes here, or, if you haven't iTunes, here.
Pick up Alan Bernstein's major work, The Formation of Hell, here.
While the public supports rehabilitating criminal offenders, the State isn't so keen on it. Charlie Sullivan, co-founder of Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), has done more than almost anyone to try and change the State's thinking. How well has he succeeded? Join us to find out!
How can we deter people from committing crimes? According to Professor David Kennedy, rather than waiting to incarcerate offenders, we should actually sit them down and discuss the consequences of their actions. Sound crazy? The evidence shows otherwise.
Listen to the episode on iTunes here, or, if you're technologically behind, here.
At the age of sixteen Jeffrey Mark Deskovic was falsely convicted of the rape and murder of a fellow classmate. In this interview, Jeffrey discusses his arrest, trial, and sixteen year imprisonment for a crime that he did not commit. If you think that you know anything about our nation's penal system, listen up.