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American RadioWorksDocumentariesAmericaPart of the Lock-Up Society

 March 2003

 by John Biewen

After an historic, generation-long prison expansion, American prisons are now releasing more than 600,000 inmates each year. The punishment doesn't end at the prison gates. On the outside, ex-prisoners face tattered connections to family and more closed doors. They also pose a challenge for the places they go home to.

Has the war on crime done more good or harm?

Northeast Central Durham
Photographer Steve Schapiro traveled to Durham to create this companion photo documentary.
A Day with Eddie
(Slideshows require RealOne Player.)

Gate Money
See what each state gives people when they leave their prison system.
Durham Perspectives
What would experts and community activists like to see happen to those who commit crimes and those about to be released?

Child of the Incarcerated

Stats and Facts
Printable Transcript

   Scraping By
Eddie did five years and two months in New Jersey State prisons. He paid his debt. Now he just wants a job.
   Marsha and Sons
When Marsha went to prison in 1994, she left behind two sons, ages four and two. Now she's about to be released. Her challenge is to rebuild her family.
   Collateral Damage: East Durham
To most people, locking up a criminal is like pulling a weed. It can only make the garden healthier. But people who commit crimes are also fathers and sons, mothers and daughters. What are the costs in the life of a community when hundreds of people in a single neighborhood get locked up - then sent home?

Corrections, Inc.  How corporations, prison guard unions, and police agencies help to shape who gets locked up and for how long.

America's Drug War  The fight against one of the world's most profitable industries.

Jailing the Mentally Ill  Why are so many mentally ill Americans behind bars?

Prison Diaries Five inmates, four correctional officers, and a judge kept audio journals for six months.
360 Degrees online documentary   |   All Things Considered coverage

To order a CD send a check or money order for $20 to: American Public Media CDs, 45 East 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101

Producers: John Biewen
Host: Deborah Amos
Editor: Deborah George
Coordinating Producer: Sasha Aslanian
Mixing: Craig Thorson
Project Coordinator: Misha Quill

Production Assistance: Hilary Johnson, Jenny Assef
Managing Editor: Stephen Smith
Executive Producer: Bill Buzenberg
Web Manager: John Pearson
Web Production Supervisor: Michael Wells
Web Producers: Emily Thompson, Matt Thueson

Major funding for American RadioWorks comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Hard Time: Life After Prison is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Institute.

Photo Above: Steve Schapiro