Rattling the Bars 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. The show was founded by the late Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall “Eddie” Conway, and is now hosted by Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, who himself spent 48 years behind bars.

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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George Jackson’s unfinished revolution

52 years since his death at the hands of California prison authorities, George Jackson’s legacy has left an indelible imprint on the ongoing struggles for liberation from capitalist exploitation and the prison state.

How Maryland discriminates against women prisoners

Without a pre-release center, Maryland’s entire woman prisoner population is housed in a single facility known as ‘the Cut’, where they’re unable to go out on work release, receive an income, or take family leave.

A Juneteenth call to close prisons

The Californians United for a Responsible Budget coalition calls for the closure of 10 prisons across the state in the next five years.

Cash bail is an abomination of justice. We should get rid of it.

The blunt fact about the cash bail system in the US is that it creates a two-tier system of “justice” in which the presumption of innocence is denied to people who have not been convicted of anything but the “crime” of being poor.


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