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Punishment & Profit: Community Corrections

Punishment & Profit

Originally Aired: Tuesday, April 27, 2021


As public awareness and opposition to mass incarceration, some have pointed to so-called “alternatives” that increase community-based surveillance like diversion programs and electronic monitoring. Private prison corporations have spent billions acquiring many of these new forms of control and confinement as their main business line comes under attack. Join us as we uncover these carceral innovations, how they work, and what’s at stake for the millions on probation and parole and their communities with guests Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia School of Social Work Vincent Schiraldi, Director of the Challenging E-Carceration Project at MediaJustice James Kilgore, and freelance journalist covering issues of incarceration, Victoria Law.


Leadership support for The Greene Space’s Artist-in-Residence program is provided by:


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.

Victoria Law

Credit: Photo provided by guest

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist covering issues of incarceration. She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women; Prison By Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms; and “Prisons Make Us Safer” and 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration.

James Kilgore

Credit: Photo provided by guest.

James Kilgore is a formerly incarcerated activist and researcher based in Urbana, Illinois. He is the director of the Challenging E-Carceration project at MediaJustice. He is the author of five books, including the award-winning Understanding Mass Incarceration. His forthcoming book from The New Press is Understanding E-Carceration. In his home community of Champaign-Urbana Illinois he is the Co-Director of the FirstFollowers Reentry Program an organization of people who have experienced incarceration who now work to provide support to those returning home from prison.

Vincent Schiraldi

Photo provided by guest.

Vincent Schiraldi is a Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia School of Social Work and co-Director of the Columbia Justice Lab. He has extensive experience in public life, founding the policy think tank, the Justice Policy Institute, then moving to government as director of the juvenile corrections in Washington DC, as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, and Senior Policy Adviser to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Schiraldi gained a national reputation as a fearless reformer who emphasized the humane and decent treatment of the men, women, and children under his correctional supervision. He pioneered efforts at community-based alternatives to incarceration in NYC and Washington DC. Schiraldi received a MSW from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.

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