#1347 Locked in a Petri Dish (Mass Pandemic Incarceration)

Air Date: 4–12-2020

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Today we take a look at the way mass incarceration is coming back to bite the US, as jails, prisons and immigrant detention centers are becoming Petri dishes for the coronavirus that will help perpetuate the pandemic as well as non-virus related deaths throughout the population.


EPISODE SPONSORS: Clean Choice Energy

SHOP AMAZON: Amazon USAAmazon CAAmazon UK


Ch. 1: Prisons and Jails Are a Coronavirus Time Bomb - Deep Background with Noah Feldman - Air Date 3-24-20

Homer Venters, the former Chief Medical Officer for the NYC Jail system, says that we need to stop the spread of coronavirus in prisons, jails, and detention centers.

Ch. 2: Former ICE Director: Release Immigrants from Detention or COVID-19 Will Spread Like Wildfire Inside - Democracy Now - Air Date 3-23-20

Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Ch. 3: Coronavirus Behind Bars: Crisis In New York Part 1 - News Beat - Air Date 4-8-20

Rikers Island now has more than 200 coronavirus cases and recorded its first COVID-19-related death last weekend. Advocates warn that anyone held in the jail is in mortal danger.

Ch. 4: COVID-19 and the border - The Weeds - Air Date 4-7-20

Dara, Jane, and Matt on the intersection between the pandemic and Trump's border crackdown.

Ch. 5: Donate to the National Bail Fund Network & Demand to #FreeThemAll via @bailfundnetwork - Best of the Left Activism

These community bail funds are freeing people by paying bail and bond and are also fighting to abolish the money bail system and pretrial detention.

Ch. 6: No Hierarchy of Humanity Part 1 - Off-Kilter - Air Date 3-20-20

Tom Jawetz and Emily Galvin-Almanza on the steps leaders need to take to reach the nation’s 5,000 prisons, jails, and immigrant detention facilities.

Ch. 7: Dispatches from People Stranded in Place - The United States of Anxiety - Air Date 4-3-20

WNYC Investigative Reporter Matt Katz brings us calls from inside immigration detention centers.

Ch. 8: The Emergency in Our Jails - Social Distance - Air Date 4-8-20

Everyone is being ordered to social distance. Except those who are being ordered into places where that’s impossible. Jim and Katherine talk with Conor Friedersdorf about what can be done.

Ch. 9: No Hierarchy of Humanity Part 2 - Off-Kilter - Air Date 3-20-20

Tom Jawetz and Emily Galvin-Almanza on the steps leaders need to take to reach the nation’s 5,000 prisons, jails, and immigrant detention facilities.

Ch. 10: When Epidemics Collide: Coronavirus, Criminal Justice & Poverty Part 2 - News Beat - Air Date 3-24-20

Advocates say marginalized communities are going to suffer the worst from the consequences of a broken economy, neglect, and a decaying social safety net.


Ch. 11: Reverse seasonal affective disorder - Arkle

Ch. 12: This too shall pass - Annie from Florida


Ch. 13: Final comments on hidden Negative Visualization and the elephant in the room

Limerick of the day from @Libericks


Donate to The National Bail Fund Network's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

Find other ways to help and get involved through the hashtag #FreeThemAll 


Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020 (Prison Policy Initiative)

Detaining the Poor (Prison Policy Initiative)

Rikers Reports Its First COVID-Related Prisoner Death (NY Mag: Intelligencer)

Andrew Cuomo Has Learned Nothing From the Coronavirus Catastrophe at Rikers (NY Mag: Intelligencer)

Fear Among Immigrant Detainees Spreads As Coronavirus Outbreaks Hit ICE Detention Centers (Buzzfeed News)

Immigrant detainees in Massachusetts are fighting to be released in the pandemic (Vox)

'Terrified of dying': Immigrants beg to be released from immigration detention as coronavirus spreads (USA Today)

Researched & Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman 

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

  • Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr 
  • The Spinnet - Castle Danger
  • Derailed - The Depot
  • When We Set Out - Arc and Crecent
  • Rapids - Grey River
  • Minutes - Pacha Faro
  • Waltz and Fury - Macrame
  • Gusty Hollow - Migration
  • Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
  • Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent


"Prison is No Place for a Pandemic" by: Micah Bazant (@micahbazant), Artist in Residence @fwdtogether


Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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