Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in the summer of 2014, America has undertaken a sustained look at the way it approaches law and order, from police encounters on the street to the way prisons work and how long people are kept there. New York City, where the killing or Eric Garner and a federal investigation of conditions on Rikers Island fueled a movement for local reforms, has seen an especially intense re-examination of criminal justice policy.
But the U.S. prison complex is so vast that, even with this sustained amount of public interest, elements of the system would have escaped attention but for the work of two journalists who appeared on the most recent episode of Straight Up, the BRIC-TV reporters’ roundtable filmed at The Emerson bar on Myrtle Avenue.
Tom Robbins of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism has written extensively over the past year through The Marshall Project about abuse of inmates in the state prison system. And Liliana Segura of The Intercept has covered a number of criminal justice issues, in particular the evolving debate over the death penalty.
The full show is below: