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Kite Line

Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.

Kite Line: May 19, 2017- Steps Forward

This week we share news and stories from two people who have been caught up in very different ways in the web of prison. Both Bresha Meadows and Patrick Pursely have recently made steps forward in escaping this web, and we are excited to share news from them. Listen in for updates on reduced charges in Bresha’s case, stemming from …

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Kite Line- May 12, 2017: Addiction, Sobriety, and Recidivism

This week we feature an interview with Patrick, who reflects on his experience with addiction and prison. His story is both deeply personal and analytic, illuminating systemic connections and paths forward. We also share a long letter from a current Indiana prisoner, who makes an urgent plea to all of us for contact and for breaking with a life based …

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Kite Line- May 5, 2017: Commissary

For prisons to function smoothly and profitably, the major tools of control – violence, surveillance, separation – must be complimented by a host of less obvious instruments and technologies. These include censorship in the mail room, the cultivation of racial tension, integration of prisoner labor into facility maintenance, cafeteria operations, and private contracting, among many others. This week on Kite …

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Kite Line- April 28, 2017: Dismantling Barriers to Life

This week features a variety of conversations that we are sharing with you through a partnership with StoryCorps. The event, Dismantling Barriers to Life, was about the impacts of mass incarceration. Dismantling Barriers to Life was hosted last month in Chicago, and these are some of the stories collected for the event. We hear people talk about how incarceration affected …

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Kite Line- April 21, 2017: Recovery From Above, Recovery From Below- The AIR Dorm

This week, we focus on the closing of a volunteer-run dorm in the Monroe County Jail. The Addicts in Recovery, or AIR Dorm, has been a unique part of the local jail programming for several years. The AIR program provides a place for selected inmates to participate in intensive addiction recovery programs (addiction treatment, anger management, community building, meditation, parenting, …

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Kite Line: April 14, 2017- Bresha Meadows, Domestic Violence, and the State

Content Warning: This episode contains strong imagery about domestic violence and other abuse. This week, we examine the intersections between domestic violence, along with other forms of gendered violence, the courts, and the prison system. To begin, we share thoughts from a collaborator about Bresha Meadows – a teenager facing murder charges after killing her abusive father – and what …

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Kite Line: April 7, 2017- How to Write to Prisoners

Our focus for this episode is writing to prisoners. After some prison-related news, we speak with Lukah Revolt, who explains how she went from writing a few political prisoners to writing more than 30 people on the inside. Lukah explains the basics of sending a letter inside, and why it is important to communicate with people who are locked up.

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Kite Line: March 31, 2017- Jailhouse Law

This episode is a conversation with Steve Garrett, who during his time in Ohio’s prison system, used the legal loopholes and statutes he learned to challenge the State on its own terms. He shares stories with us about how he used the law to his advantage.

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Kite Line: March 24, 2017- Cyclical Confinement: Homelessness and Incarceration

In this episode, we speak to people with experience with both homelessness and incarceration. Often, there is a cyclical relationship between these two situations. We speak with Forest Gilmore, the director of the Shalom Center here in Bloomington. Forest talks about various barriers that both people who experience homelessness and those who have been incarcerated face. We have conversations with …

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Kite Line: March 17, 2017- Woomera: Escaping From an Immigrant Detention Center, Part Three

This week concludes our series on the mass escape from the Woomera immigrant detention center in 2002. Aren Aizura, who helped organize the solidarity camp outside the prison over Easter weekend of that year, tells us more about the aftermath: follow-up organizing with captive refugees, and the Australian government’s push to move the prisons to remote, unreachable islands. Despite these …

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