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Media Roundtable: How do the media shape public opinion about the US prison system?

  U.S. prisons currently house 2.3 million inmates. On this week’s media roundtable, we’ll discuss media coverage of the private prison industry, how corporations are profiting from prisoners' labor, and prison reform.

We’ll also discuss the 2001 drug decriminalization law in Portugal. In the US nearly 48 percent of people in the federal prison system are behind bars for drug crimes.


Maurice Chammah, staff writer at The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that covers the US criminal justice system


Victoria Law, freelance journalist focusing on women’s incarceration, author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, and co-author of the forthcoming book, Your Home Is Your Prison



Susana Ferreira, freelance journalist covering development and aid, faith and charity, drug policy, and the politics of migration

Web Resources:

The Guardian: Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?

The Marshall Project: When Your Dad Gets Locked Up—And Then Deported

In These Times: Investigation: Corporations Are Profiting From Immigrant Detainees’ Labor. Some Say It’s Slavery.

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.