Cover art for podcast Life of the Law

Life of the Law

144 EpisodesProduced by Nancy Mullane / PanoplyWebsite

Law is alive. It doesn’t live in books and words. It thrives in how well we understand and apply it to everyday life. We ask questions, find answers, and publish what we discover in feature episodes and live storytelling.


114: Inside San Quentin - To Be Heard

It's been more than 45 years since a thousand inmates at Attica Prison (Correctional Facility) in New York took control of the prison. In her 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, Professor Heather Thompson pieces "together the whole, gripping story, from the conditions that gave rise to the rebellion, which cost the lives of 43 men, to the decades of government obstructionism that prevented the full story from being told." (NYTimes)

If you listened to our most recent Episode 114: In-Studio-Locking People Up, you know we're talking about the fact that more than 2.2 million people are locked up in America's prisons and jails. We invited scholars who have spent their professional lives researching and reporting on this crisis of incarceration, and a man who was incarcerated in California for more than 20 years, to join us in the studios of KQED in San Francisco to talk about how we got here and what it would take to make a safe and humane society.

Immediately after our conversation at KQED, Troy Williams and scholars Rebecca McClennan, Keramet Reiter, Ashley Rubin and Heather Thompson drove to San Quentin State Prison about an hour away, to go inside the prison for a round-table (recorded) discussion with men locked up, to talk about their right to be heard and to protest behind the walls.

We begin with an introduction by Shadeed Wallce Stepter, producer of this episode, a reporter with the San Quentin Prison Report and Chair of the San Quentin Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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