Mass Incarceration

Courtesy of The Department of Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries

Flores Forbes joined the Black Panther Party when he was just 16 years old. He became the youngest member of the Central Committee and eventually got involved in the party’s military arm. 

Todd Turner

When Sherrill Roland was in his last year of graduate school at UNC-Greensboro, he was charged for crimes he did not commit in the District of Columbia. 

Image of Attica uprising
ASSOCIATED PRESS/ New York State Special Commission on Attica

Forty-five years ago, New York state police raided Attica Prison, a maximum-security institution in a small town in upstate New York. The standoff and takeover led to the deaths of 39 men in what has become known as the "Attica Prison Uprising." Scholar and historian Heather Ann Thompson considers the uprising to be both one of the most important civil rights events of the 20th century and a pivotal moment in criminal justice history.

More than two decades ago Father Greg Boyle (middle) founded 'Homeboy Industries,' the largest gang-internvention program in the country. Here he is on Thanksgiving day in 2012 at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.
Homeboy Industries

Note: This segment originally aired February 2, 2016.

In 1986, Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle was appointed to a poor parish in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

An image of an adult holding a child
Pexels / Creative Commons

 Note: This segment originally aired on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

More than 179,000 children in North Carolina have had a parent incarcerated, according to a new report. As a result, these children are more likely to face emotional trauma and financial instability.

The report recommends improving a child's relationship with the incarcerated parent and the community as a way to lessen these burdens.

Asheville 'Bans The Box'

Feb 3, 2016
Asheville is removing questions from city job applications that ask about criminal convictions. The city hopes to remove this hindrance for job seekers who have a criminal history.
Kathryn Decker / Flickr Creative Commons

Asheville passed a policy last week that will remove any question about criminal convictions from city job applications.

Proponents want to “ban the box” that job seekers check for convictions because they claim it puts previous criminals at a disadvantage. Though this doesn’t preclude private companies from including questions about criminal histories, the city hopes to lead by example.

Image of producer Andrew Tie
Charlie Shelton

As the year draws to a close, “The State of Things” is taking a moment to reflect on the highlights of 2015 with the program’s producers.

Producer Andrew Tie’s favorite segments include conversations about mass incarceration and another about confederate monuments on state grounds.

On November 12th, WUNC’s The State of Things and Leadership Triangle join forces to present an issues forum on the school-to-prison pipeline, one in a series of forums organized to educate the public on important issues facing our region. 

Jumilla / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice is scheduled to release about 6,000 inmates at the end of October as part of a larger effort to reduce overcrowding in prisons and scale back punishment for low-level drug offenses.

North Carolina is set to release approximately 218 inmates, the fifth most in the country.

Finding Solutions For Mass Incarceration

Sep 29, 2015
Prison cells
sean hobson / Flickr Creative Commons

Although the United States makes up just five percent of the global population, America holds 25 percent of the world's prison population.

Five decades ago, lawmakers implemented policy changes that have led to mass incarceration today.

Melissa Radcliff is an advocate for children with incarcerate parents as the executive director of Our Children's Place.
Melissa Radcliff

More than 2.7 million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent and more than 25,000 of those children live in North Carolina. But while conversations around mass incarceration are on the rise, the stories of these children often remain invisible.