Rattling the Bars, hosted by former Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall “Eddie” Conway, puts the voices of the people most harmed by our system of mass incarceration at the center of our reporting on the fight to end it.

Rattling the Bars offers an honest look at the lives of prisoners, returning citizens, their families, and their communities. With Rattling the Bars, by presenting hard data and real-life stories, we examine and seek to shift public opinion around the misconception that incarceration, punishment, and increased policing make cities safer—the truth of which has been disproven by countless studies. The series examines the history and root causes of the current so-called justice system. It showcases individuals and communities nationwide who are grappling with real solutions to problems created by the prison-industrial complex.

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Recent episodes

When prisoners met to discuss fascism, freedom, and revolution

In this rare photo collection, we get a glimpse into the energy and camaraderie of the 1980 “To Say Their Own Word” program, when prisoners and radicals met inside the Maryland Penitentiary to discuss fascism, capitalism, and the prison-industrial complex.

The parole system is broken

A crucial bill that just passed in the Maryland legislature will give prison inmates serving life sentences a stronger chance at parole.

How megacorporations exploit US prison labor

Slavery never ended in the United States, it just got absorbed into the prison system under the 13th Amendment. This horrifying “loophole” has enabled multinational corporations to exploit prison slave labor for profit.


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