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Dec 3, 19

Kite Line: The Human Cost of ‘E-Incarceration’

Long running anti-prison radio and podcast show Kite Line looks at the human cost of e-incarceration.

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This week, we share a recent round table on e-carceration here in Bloomington. This event was part of a series across southern Indiana, as community members hurt by e-carceration and their families come together to discuss their experiences and work together to understand this complex web of social control. E-Carceration involves local jails, county governments, and for-profit shackle companies. There is a growing movement against e-carceration, and you can find more information on it at

Locally, the Monroe County Jail was embroiled in controversy this week, after acknowledging that it would be forcing prisoners to prepare the holiday luncheon for county employees. Under public pressure, Jail Commander Crowe agreed to pay the prisoners $15 an hour rather compelling their labor for free. However, the pay will go straight into the prisoners’ commissary accounts. This means that the money will eventually be funneled back into county coffers, as prisoners spend it on steeply marked-up food and basic goods.

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Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.

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