Bill Resnick talks with economist David Weiman about the political forces encouraging the growth and maintaining of prisons and punitive policing in the USA. They consider not only media influence and legislators desire to keep jobs in their areas but also the fear-enhancing effects of social isolation and division and the correlation between inequality and incarceration. They discuss the impact of widely available guns and lobbying in support of gun rights. They consider the role of mental health professionals, the use of psychoactive drugs, and the likelihood that mental illness is a consequence of incarceration rather than a cause of crime.
Alan Wieder talks with local singer-songwriter-activist David Rovics about his work, about living in Oregon, where the police have killed more black men per capita than anywhere else, about releasing songs online for free download, and about his new online book Have Guitar Will Travel.