Criminal prosecutors secure the convictions for violent crimes that lead to long prison sentences. But what do prosecutors know about the experience of doing time? What can they learn about criminal justice policy by going inside and talking with prisoners? In this six-part series, we will find out.
Each episode will build off of the last, so we highly recommend listening in order.
Transcripts for all episodes can be found here.
S2 E6: 'This Really Humanized The Criminal Justice System'
So, what did it mean for the prosecutors to engage in intensive conversations with prisoners? What lessons did everyone learn?
S2 E5: 'You Get To The Point Where You're Doing Dead Time"
Despite the austere conditions of most prisons, many people inside find a pathway to self-improvement. How is that possible? How can that occur more readily? Are there changes in criminal justice policy that even prosecutors could support to help promote transformations inside?
S2 E4: 'How Am I Going To Be A Better Person After This Time?'
In Oregon and elsewhere, many people convicted by prosecutors of a violent crime are given a long and fixed sentence. What does it mean to go to prison on such a sentence? What can prisoners teach prosecutors about the experience of doing time?
S2 E3: 'We As Prosecutors Have A Lot Of Power'
What is it like to be prosecuted for a violent crime? On the way toward getting a conviction, do you have any reason to take accountability for your actions?
S2 E2: 'Hurt People Hurt People'
How do people come to commit violent acts? What can prosecutors learn by listening to stories of how people ended up in prison?
S2 E1: 'That's a Big Responsibility'
What do prosecutors do? Why do they pursue prison sentences when they charge people with violent offenses? What do they think incarceration accomplishes?
Season Two: The Trailer
Long prison sentences for violent crimes have made the United States the most punitive nation in history. And it is prosecutors who secure the convictions that generate those long prison terms.
But what do prosecutors know about what happens to those they convict? What might happen if a group of prosecutors went inside the walls, and talked to prisoners about the heavy use of incarceration as a response to violence? What can they learn from each other, and what can we learn from listening in?