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news

Stories from our prison system on KUNM Sunday

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. About 2.3 million citizens are in prison or jail, according to the Bureau of Justice.

On Sunday, 89.9 KUNM will broadcast a special where family members and inmates from around the countryand New Mexicocall in to speak to their loved ones. The pre-taped program is part of the Thousand Kites project, which collects stories about the prison system, and connects families and inmates.

I wrote about Thousand Kites back in September, when founder Nick Szuberla visited the South Valley and worked with the Media Literacy Project and La Plazita Institute to start an Albuquerque initiative.

“Research has repeatedly shown that inmates who maintain strong connections with their families are less likely to become trapped in the revolving door of the criminal justice system,” says Media Literacy Project Executive Director Andrea Quijada in a news release.

The radio show “Calls From Home” will air on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.

Narratives are still being collected through New Mexico Kites. People can also call in their stories and shoutouts toll free, 24/7.

English: 877-518-0606

Español: 877-525-8237

news

Stories from the state’s prisons

People gathered at La Plazita Institute in the South Valley to talk lockup in New Mexico.
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
People gathered at La Plazita Institute in the South Valley to talk lockup in New Mexico.

Wallens Ridge State Prison opened near Whitesburg, Ky., where Nick Szuberla lives. About 2,100 people populate his tiny town, and the supermax prison houses 1,200 beds.

It was April 1999, and Szuberla was hosting the only hip-hop radio show on central Appalachia’s bluegrass-heavy airwaves. Prisoners were shipped in from all corners of the United States, so the number of people listening to “Holler to the Hood” jumped. The DJ saw an unusual radio opportunity. He put together an experimental call-in day where inmates’ friends and families could offer shout-outs.

It launched a grassroots campaign called Thousand Kites that aims to get the conversation rolling about criminal justice. Szuberla came to Albuquerque to connect with folks who’ve been affected by the prison system. The Alibi was there and collected a few narratives, too.

As part of the project, a phone line went up to collect New Mexico’s stories. Inmatesor those on the outsidecan call (877) 518-0606 to talk lockup. KUNM 89.9 will air a selection of those messages on “Generation Justice” on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m.

People can also tell their tales online. Public access cable station channel 27 will air an interview with Szuberla and speak with the Media Literacy Project, which brought him out here, in the near future.

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V.20 No.35 | 9/1/2011
Folks met up at La Plazita Institute in the South Valley and split into groups to offer narratives about New Mexico’s prison system.
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Don’t Hate the Player

Radio project reaches out to inmates and their families, breaking the silence around America’s prisons

The Thousand Kites project reaches out to inmates and their loved ones, breaking the silence around America’s massive prison system. The project’s founder visited Albuquerque to collect narratives, and the Alibi was on hand to catch stories about local lockup.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

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commentary

One man deals with unemployment

In an attempt to rein in expenses after the unfortunate loss of my job, (I believe it was captured by hack pirates in choppy waters off of the Rio Abajo.) I switched medications.

The pill I usually take to fend off unpleasant thoughts regarding the amount of perceived bodily fluids in my Hot Pockets doesn’t work well anyway and costs $120 a bottle without insurance.

My sanity is not worth that much, so I began dating the older sister of my usual pill, a bargain at four dollars a bottle. The new pill made me feel both tired and nervous, two unpleasant sensations now available at the same time.

I tried cutting the pills in half and now seem to be half as nervous and 63 percent less tired (this amount of self analysis is exhausting, by the way.) The only problem: being too tired to think did prevent any invasive thoughts about theoretical fluids being present in frozen foods or condiments. That’s back. Yay.

If only I could start smoking again. I never had any of these problems when I sucked down 33 Marlboros a day. My clothes had holes burned all over them and there was that pesky lesion in the back of my throat, but no fluids.
Smoking is not an option, however. At seven dollars per pack, two packs a day, I would have to resort to petty theft to get my smoke on. This would undoubtedly lead to prison, where they would give me the generic sister of my crazy pills. The net result would be the same except the fluids in the food would be quite real.

Health

Prison Bikini Beach Bod

Play Youtube Video

Besides your weird uncle Sharkie, it looks like the latest thing to come out of prison the nation’s newest fitness craze isworkouts developed and used by inmates to buff up while they were locked down. And the best part? It’s practically free. You don’t need a gym membership, fancy machines or even basic weights. The workouts are based on calisthenics such as push-ups, pull-ups and squats. According to Paul Wade, author of Convict Conditioning and former inmate at San Quentin State Prison, “You just need your body and your mind.” And in yet another twist of irony, these techniques developed by some of the nation’s most hardened criminals are being used to train some of the nation’s finest servicemen. Wade, for example, has trained both Navy Seals and Marines. He describes the workouts as “primitive, brutal, painful and incredibly rewarding.” Visit www.builtbehindbars.com for a free workout program or www.HoodWorkout.com to view videos of impressive regimens posted by prison workout enthusiasts.

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