Millions of Americans with felony convictions are banned from voting, including in the upcoming November election, according to a new study from The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice nonprofit.

Titled “Locked Out,” the study estimates that 5.2 million people across the country have had their voting rights stripped as a result of a felony conviction, down from 6.1 million in 2016.

Felony disenfranchisement creates some of the most arduous obstacles to voting in the country. In 11 states, people with felony convictions — regardless if they’re imprisoned, served their sentence, or are under parole or probation — are prohibited from…


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One of the foremost experts on correctional health services warned of a “very perilous and looming threat” inside American correctional facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

The warnings from Dr. Homer Venters, an epidemiologist, and former chief medical officer for New York City’s jails, comes as public health officials and prison reform advocates express concern over already insufficient healthcare services inside jails and prisons throughout the United States, which has the…


Episode art for the News Beat podcast episode ‘Mentally Ill & Incarcerated’

Welcome to News Beat, an award-winning podcast that mixes hard-hitting, social justice journalism with music to uniquely examine some of the most pressing issues facing society. Each episode features interviews from well-known voices — ranging from activists to scholars to journalists — set to music, interspersed with powerful, original lyrics crafted by notable artists specifically for that episode. Subscribe for free on your preferred podcast app.

The three largest jails in the United States each house more mentally ill patients than any psychiatric facility in the country, underscoring how America has essentially criminalized mental illness amid an era of…


Welcome to News Beat, an award-winning podcast that mixes hard-hitting, social justice journalism with music to uniquely examine some of the most pressing issues facing society. Each episode features interviews from well-known voices — ranging from activists to scholars to journalists — set to music, interspersed with powerful, original lyrics crafted by notable artists specifically for that episode.

It’s kind of like Democracy Now! and Hamilton had a podcast baby.

Subscribe to News Beat for free on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or wherever you get your podcasts.

The cries for change came in every direction, ricocheting off…


Chesa Boudin (left) is a career public defender. His election as San Francisco District Attorney signals the so-called “progressive prosecutor” movement is resonating. (Photo credit: Boudin 4DA)

Chesa Boudin, the deputy public defender in San Francisco who ran a progressive campaign promising to dismantle the city’s mass incarceration apparatus, was elected district attorney. He was featured prominently in our episode “Restorative Justice: Healing Instead of Incarceration.”

Listen to the bonus episode here or download the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

The hotly contested race pitted Boudin, whose parents were incarcerated when he was a year old, against three other competitors, including Suzy Loftus, who served four years as the president of the San Francisco Police Commission. Trailing by 2,000 votes as officials continued to tally ballots, Loftus conceded the race over the weekend.

Boudin’s victory is also a major win for the broader criminal justice reform movement simmering across the country. Boudin is among a number of so-called “progressive” candidates competing for the incredibly influential…


News Beat is an award-winning podcast that mixes hard-hitting, social justice journalism with music to uniquely examine some of the most pressing issues facing society. Each episode features interviews from well-known voices — ranging from activists to scholars to journalists — set to music, interspersed with powerful, original lyrics crafted by notable artists specifically for that episode. Subscribe to the podcast New York Press Club awarded best of 2018.

On the surface, Chesa Boudin would seem an unlikely candidate for district attorney.

Boudin was only 14 months old when his Weather Underground activist parents were arrested. …


Criminal justice reform has emerged as a pressing issue across the country. Almost all the top-performing presidential hopefuls for the Democratic Party nomination have released their plans to reform America’s massive justice system. Even President Donald Trump has gotten into the fold, criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden for his support of the much-maligned 1994 crime bill.

At News Beat podcast, we’ve made it a priority to examine the myriad aspects of the country’s massive criminal justice system, which imprisons more than 2.3 million Americans annually.

Why focus on criminal justice?

While there are many facets of the justice system, perhaps the biggest takeaway is…


President Trump announcing the First Step Act at the White House. (Credit: White House)

Welcome to News Beat, an award-winning social justice podcast. This is a special bonus episode on criminal justice reform, poverty, and felony disenfranchisement in Florida. You can listen directly on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure to subscribe and leave a review while you’re there.

A president besieged from the outset of his presidency relished in a rare legislative victory.

What the White House, Congress, and advocacy groups accomplished in pushing the First Step Act, billed as a major criminal justice bill, over the finish line was “groundbreaking” and “historic,” Trump…


Photo by Social Estate on Unsplash

Anyone familiar with the Australian drama “Secret City” — a political thriller set in the nation’s capital city of Canberra — would likely recall its pressure-packed first season culminating in a sleuthing journalist’s imprisonment due to the passage of a draconian national security law.

A fictional series, it seems life in the Land Down Under is now to some degree imitating art, with potentially dangerous consequences.

Last week, Australian authorities launched controversial investigations into its press, prompting widespread condemnation from press freedom organizations and journalists across the globe. Among these troubling overreaches: a probe into the country’s public broadcaster, Australian…


This episode of News Beat podcast was created in partnership with The Marshall Project, a non-profit news organization based in New York City dedicated to award-winning journalism covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Visit its site to read more of TMP’s work and its series about prison reform in The Golden State, aptly titled “The California Experiment.”

California has positioned itself at the epicenter of a growing movement to reform the criminal justice system, representing a seismic shift for a state that spent previous decades exponentially increasing its prison population.

What began as a response to court intervention, including a U.S. Supreme Court mandate to substantially reduce prison overcrowding, has morphed into a wide-ranging set of initiatives addressing everything from police accountability to mass incarceration.

California is hardly alone in such an undertaking. Still, its legislative ambitions, combined with contentious issues confronted by lawmakers and smaller municipalities, such as the city of Stockton, has put the…

News Beat

A groundbreaking social justice podcast melding journalism with original hip-hop to amplify under-reported stories.

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