Stop trying to revive local economies with prisons

Closing prisons and reducing the incarcerated population should be a good thing, but when local economies become dependent on the prison industry it creates many perverse incentives for keeping our inhumane system of mass incarceration going. Residents of Susanville, California, are experiencing this firsthand after the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the impending deactivation of the California Correctional Center. In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, is joined by Nicole D. Porter to discuss the prison closure in Susanville and how expanding the prison-industrial complex is neither a just nor viable method for reviving local economies.

Nicole D. Porter is the Senior Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project, managing state and local advocacy efforts on sentencing reform, voting rights, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Her advocacy has supported criminal justice reforms in several states including Kentucky, Missouri, and California. Porter was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by Essence Magazine for her work to eliminate mass incarceration.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


The transcript of this video will be made available as soon as possible.

Charles Hopkins

Charles Hopkins, aka Mansa Musa, is a 70-year-old social activist. He was released from prison on December 5, 2019, after serving 48 years, nine months, 5 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes. He co-hosts the TRNN original show Rattling the Bars.