We delve into two great true crime miniseries, “When They See Us” and “Unbelievable” that are now streaming on Netflix. The two shows take a deeper look into past crimes to uncover how the justice system failed the people behind these stories.
Since the beginning of the U.S. 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.
While seasons one and two told the stories of specific, extraordinary cases, season three sets its sights on the mundane. This time, the team at This American Life and Serial took on telling the story of criminal justice in Cleveland over the course of a year. The reporters follow little cases: a bar fight, a drug bust, individuals who break parole. It tells the story of a fractured system: a system where the community doesn’t trust the police. A system where prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike are overtaxed and overly reliant on plea deals. A system that determines years of people's lives, and could affect any of us at any time.
There are millions incarcerated in American prisons, even many juveniles who were sentenced to long terms alongside adults. We talk to guests about how and why this happens, whether it should continue, and what life is like for young people behind bars.
Sexual offenders have to live by a very particular set of rules. They can’t live near playgrounds, they’re on a registry for life. These rules exist to make everyone safer. But they also can limit a reformed criminal’s ability to reintegrate into everyday life and be productive members of society.