17-33 Segment 1: Pregnancy Behind Bars

 

Thousands of pregnant women pass through our prison system each year. What happens to these ladies when they need the most medical care? We talk with Carolyn Sufrin who describes her experience as an OBGYN for California prison inmates in her book Jailcare: Finding the safety net for women behind bars.

Incarcerated Americans are entitled to proper health care, and Sufrin says that for the most part, they receive any treatment that they need. This “special right” to a kind of health care that is unavailable to many law-abiding citizens raises some controversial questions. Are some inmates purposely committing crimes to get access to the care they need? Sufrin says that while most prisoners do not want to end up in prison, sometimes they desire the stability of prison life to escape their lives on the outside. For pregnant women who live in troubling situations, even a prison cell might be more ideal than the alternative.

Sufrin also talks about the inhumane treatment of pregnant women prisoners that she has witnessed many times during her career, noting that sometimes they are forced to give birth in their jail cells, and those who wear shackles must keep them on through childbirth. Sufrin wants to raise awareness of these serious problems to encourage us to re-evaluate how these women should be treated and to advocate on their behalf.

Guest:

  • Carolyn Sufrin, medical anthropologist, former OB/GYN at San Francisco Jail, and author of Jailcare: Finding the safety net for women behind bars

Links for more information:

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17-19 Segment 1: Religion Behind Bars

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Since the beginning of the US prison system, religion has been suggested as a way to help rehabilitate criminals. We talk to Tanya Erzen, a professor of religion, about why that is and what role prison ministries play in the lives on inmates.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript

Coming Up On Viewpoints

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Religion Behind Bars: The role of faith-based prison ministries: Since the beginning of the US prison system, religion has been suggested as a way to help rehabilitate criminals. We talk to Tanya Erzen, a professor of religion, about why that is and what role prison ministries play in the lives on inmates.

The History of Physics: The history of physics is a long and extremely interesting one, littered with the names of some of the most famous scientists in the world, like Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, Einstein, Curie, and others. We talk to a science historian about a few of the highlights throughout the long history of physics and astronomy.

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16-25 Segment 1: Juveniles Sent To Adult Prison

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Synopsis: There are millions of people incarcerated in American prisons – many of them juveniles sentenced to long terms alongside adults. Should children be tried as adults and sent to adult prisons? Are they mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions? Or should they be treated differently than adults who commit serious offenses? Our guests discuss why we have so many people incarcerated and how juveniles – even those who commit murder – should be given another chance.

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16-25 Segment 2: Pushed Out of School

jail cells with the doors closed at a histororic idaho prison

 

Many school-aged children in the U.S. end up in juvenile detention or expelled from school for offenses ranging from arriving late to breaking the dress code to fighting in the hallway. Once “pushed out” from school, these children are often headed down the road to a life of poverty and more serious crimes. A good portion of these kids are African-American girls who, our guest says, are unfairly targeted for discipline because of a misunderstanding of their behavior. We discuss this phenomenon and also talk to a professor who has studied the effect that extremely strict school rules have on the students and the teachers who are made to enforce them.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript