Latest in "The Exile Nation Project"

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    The Phoenix Project seeks trauma victims for doc series
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    A new documentary series that explores the pervasive effect of trauma in our culture has begun development and is seeking prospective participants.

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    'Secure Communities' still destroying immigrant families
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    A young activist gets his father released from detention but many more will be deported breaking up families with children born in the US.

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    "The Plastic People" explores mass-deportation
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    The recently released trailer for an upcoming documentary set in Tijuana, Mexico by openDemocracy editor Charles Shaw about the mass-deportation of immigrants. 

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    Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison
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    Written by: Judge Mark All articles by Judge Mark

    If lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug addicts actually worked, one might be able to rationalize them. But there is no evidence that they do. 

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    "Land of the Free" - The best investigative reporting on U.S. prisons
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    The U.S. has the highest reported incarceration rate in the world. Pro Publica has just compiled some of the best investigative journalism on U.S. prisons and the problems that plague them.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Interview with Mary Barr (Pt. II)
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Part II of the Exile Nation Project's interview with former crack cocaine addict and prostitute Mary Barr, who now works as a lecturer at John Jay College of Law.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Mary Barr (Pt. 1)
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Mary Barr is a former crack cocaine addict and prostitute who now works as a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and as an advocate for addicts and sex workers. During Mary's time on the streets, she was arrested 50 times in 5 years, beaten, stabbed, raped, and left for dead. All the while, she was battling a crippling addiction, which eventually resulted in the loss of her children to Child Protective Services. A chance encounter with a social worker at Riker's Island Prison opened the door to her recovery when she was told, simply, "you don't have to live like this anymore."

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    The Exile Nation Project - Robert Manor
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Robert Manor was the Prison & Jail Monitor for the John Howard Association. The John Howard Association is a Chicago-based not-for-profit working for prison reform within a complex social and political environment. In this comprehensive interview Robert talks plainly about the systemic problems of the American correctional system.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Allison T. Moore
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Allison Moore was once labelled a "habitual offender" by the State of Pennsylvania for receiving seven convictions for theft, fraud and forgery. Having reformed her life, she now works as an author and motivational speaker for women in prison. Now further motivated by a son in prison on drug charges, Allison has become a powerful voice for change.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Ronald "Shaka" Howard
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Ronald "Shaka" Howard is a former crack cocaine addict who spent 25 years in the California Department of Corrections. During an altercation with another inmate, Shaka was shot by prison guards and lost his leg. Released after 25 years, Shaka is today trying to rebuild his life and treat the ongoing PTSD he suffers as a result of the shooting. His interview reflects a profound understanding of the penal system, and the wisdom of a man who has learned from his mistakes.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Dorothy Johnson-Speight
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Dorothy Johnson-Speight is the Executive Director of Mother's in Charge, a Philadelphia-based charity made up of Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts & Sisters who have all lost a loved one to violence. The organization was founded in 2003 after the murder of Dorothy's son, Kalik.  He was shot seven times over a parking spot on a Philadelphia street. In this interview, Dorothy delves into the full impact of violence, and "justice, on the African-American community.

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    The Exile Nation Project - "Forgiving her son's killer"
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    In this special preview clip from her upcoming interview, Dorothy Johnson-Speight speaks bravely and poignantly about the need to have compassion and forgiveness for her son's killer as a necessary requirement for spiritual growth and healing.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Lynda Adams
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Lynda Adams is the wife of Ken Adams (TENP #26), and like him, has battled an addiction to crack cocaine for over 30 years. She has spent her entire life surrounded by drugs and violence. Through a conversation with Director Charles Shaw, Lynda shares her powerful story with The Exile Nation Project.

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    The Exile Nation Project: Ken Adams
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Ken Adams of Oakland, CA has spent the last 30 years battling an addiction to crack cocaine. He has served a total of 12 years for drug related offenses. He has also spent the last 20 years advocating for the homeless as the co-founder of the San Francisco homeless newspaper, "The Street Sheet," and as a spokesperson for Harmonic Humanity. When we caught up with Ken in the Summer of 2010, he had just completed 90 days clean and sober.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Robert Halstead
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Robert Halstead (son of Janet Maddox Goree featured last week) is serving a 30 year sentence for armed robbery at a private prison in Graceville, FL, owned by the Correctional Corporation of America. Laws prohibit media access to Federal facilities, as well as in the California Department of Corrections and many other states, so this interview for The Exile Nation Project is the first conducted inside a prison facility.

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    oD Drug & Criminal Justice Front Line Report - March 28, 2012
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    This week negative critique of the War on Drugs and the Prison-Industrial Complex goes mainstream (and, dare we say, lurches rightward) with a scathing indictment by Fareed Zakaria in Time, a man is shot dead by police for smoking marijuana as authorities try to take his son away, Chicago under new mayor Rahm Emmanuel finds itself mired in a never ending "war" against the street trade, and a 15 year old in Mississippi faces life in prison for a miscarriage. Also, we begin a deeper look into the private prison industry with a number of reports as well as a Special Series from The Exile Nation Project. 

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    The Exile Nation Project - Janet Maddox Goree
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    ‎"The man who murdered my grandchild got probation, and my son, who didn't hurt anyone, got 30 years. How can that be?"In this special Exile Nation two-part report that examines the nature of "justice," Janet Maddox Goree, a Georgia, activist & lobbyist, reveals the pain and tragedy of having to lose a granddaughter to "Shaken-Baby Syndrome" and a son to drug addiction & incarceration.

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    The Exile Nation Project - Chris Bava
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Chris Bava is a former heroin trafficker who served 8 years in Federal prison following a worldwide sting operation in the late 1980s. Chris also struggled with addiction before and after his stint in prison, which eventually motivated him to move to Tijuana, Mexico, to seek out ibogaine, a variation of the African plant medicine, Iboga, which has shown a remarkable ability to interrupt addiction.

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    oD Drug & Criminal Justice - Front Line Report: March 21, 2012
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    This week we take in the "Branson Follies" as The UK's most fun-loving Billionaire goes on the offensive with President Obama, challenging the US to seriously consider decriminalization of drugs. Meanwhile, more reports emerge showing the criminally disproportionate nature of the racial disparities in American criminal justice, including yet another case of police indifference to the murder of an unarmed Black youth. And in Mexico, despite calls by the cartels to curb violence during an upcoming Papal visit, 10 decapitated heads were recently discovered in Acapulco, more victims of Mexico's devastating drug war. ~ CS

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    Peace in Medicine: Inside California's Medical Cannabis Industry
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    Written by: Charles Shaw All articles by Charles Shaw

    Go inside the professional operations of Peace in Medicine, a licensed cannabis dispensary in Northern California that finds itself under seige from the Federal government. 

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