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Punishment & Profit: Equipment

Punishment & Profit

Tuesday March 9 2021 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm ET
Available for viewing

Overview

More than 1,300 correctional equipment and supplies corporations compose the prison industry’s equipment and supplies sector, with law enforcement and correctional agencies spending $1.2 billion annually on equipment from batons and tasers to security barriers and chemical weapons. These corporations manufacture and distribute tools designed to inflict harm on, subdue, and punish people behind bars.

Join us to hear firsthand the role that these corporations play in facilitating physically brutal environments from guests Andrea James, Founder and Executive Director of The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, accomplished writer and filmmaker Nick Berardini and  George Joseph, Law Enforcement Reporter at WNYC and Gothamist. Bianca Tylek, Executive Director of Worth Rises hosts.

Worth Rises is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industry and ending the exploitation of those it touches. The organization exposes the commercialization of the criminal legal system and advocates and organizes to protect and return the economic resources extracted from affected communities and strip the industry of its power. Through this work, Worth Rises is helping to clear the road toward a safe and just world free of police and prisons. Find out more at worthrises.org.

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Bianca is the Founder and Executive Director of Worth Rises, combining her direct experience with the criminal legal system and expertise in financial and legal services to challenge the prison industry.

Before founding Worth Rises in 2017, Bianca was a legal fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, where she investigated the perverse financial incentives created by correctional funding. Previously, Bianca also worked with various state and local corrections agencies, including New York City, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Most notably, in New York City, she drafted the young adult plan that eliminated solitary confinement for young adults 21 years old and younger—a first in the nation.

Bianca has also consulted to the Association of State Correctional Administrators and worked for the Campaign to End Mass Incarceration at the American Civil Liberties Union. Bianca co-founded College Pathways at Rikers Island, a preparation program for incarcerated students interested in pursuing higher education. 

Before committing her career to the struggle for justice, Bianca worked as a financial analyst at Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. 

Bianca has been honored as a Draper Rickard Kaplan Entrepreneur, Art for Justice Fellow, TED Fellow, Equal Justice Works Fellow, Harvard University Presidential Public Service Fellow, Ford Foundation Public Interest Fellow, Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow, and an Education Pioneers Analyst Fellow. Bianca holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Andrea James, JD. Is the Founder and Executive Director of The National Council for  Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Founder of Families for Justice as  Healing, author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts on the Politics of Mass  Incarceration, a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow and. Recipient of the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Human  Rights Award.

 

As a former criminal defense attorney and a formerly incarcerated woman, Andrea shares her  personal and professional experiences to raise awareness of the effects of incarcerating women  on themselves, their children and communities. Her work is focused on ending incarceration of  women and girls and contributing to the shift from a criminal legal system focused on police  and prisons, to a system led by directly affected people from within their neighborhoods and  based on individual and community accountability.

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Nick Berardini is an accomplished writer and filmmaker working in both nonfiction journalism and based on true story narrative film/television, with a focus on the intersection between capitalism and criminal justice. His 2015 directorial debut, Killing Them Safely, was an expose on Axon Enterprises (formerly Taser International), the only manufacturer of law enforcement Tasers and the market leader in body cameras/digital evidence management. The film received wide critical acclaim upon a nationwide distribution through IFC Films.

Credit: Photo provided by guest

George Joseph is an investigative reporter, focusing on law enforcement corruption, misconduct, and surveillance technology. He joined WNYC’s news team in 2019 and is now a member of its Race & Justice Unit. His first major series uncovered secret lists of police misconduct, maintained by prosecutors’ offices across New York City. The series won the New York  Associated Press Association’s First Amendment award and prompted a federal court monitor to order the NYPD to incorporate such lists into a red flag algorithm for misconduct. He is currently in the middle of a series investigating allegations of rampant police corruption in Mount Vernon, New York, a city just north of the Bronx in Westchester County. Thus far, the reporting has drawn on secret recordings made by a whistleblower and dozens of interviews with police officers, drug dealers, and former prosecutors. The series resulted in the disbandment of the Mount Vernon Police Department’s narcotics unit. It also became the major campaign issue in the 2020 Westchester Democratic District Attorney primary, which resulted in the ouster of a sitting District Attorney.

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1 hour
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