Justice Radio 2/9/23: Are Prisons the Answer? Justice and Accountability

Producers/Hosts: Leo Hylton and Catherine Besteman
Production Coordinator: Daria Cullen
Other credits:TECHNICAL SUPPORT – Emma Reynolds / MUSIC – Samuel James
Justice Radio is a WMPG production

Justice Radio: Tackling the hard questions about our criminal legal system in Maine.

This week:
Are Prisons the Answer? Co-hosts Leo Hylton and Catherine Besteman explore justice and accountability with The Honorable Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Court, and attorney Krystal Williams.
-Fairness vs. Discretion

Guest/s: n/a
Eric Mehnert, Chief Judge of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Court
Krystal Williams, Attorney

About the hosts:
The Justice Radio team includes:

Leo Hylton is currently incarcerated at Maine State Prison, yet is a recent Master’s graduate, a columnist with The Bollard, a restorative and transformative justice advocate and activist, a prison abolitionist, and a Visiting Instructor at Colby College’s Anthropology Department, co-teaching AY346 – Carcerality and Abolition.

Catherine Besteman is an abolitionist educator at Colby College. Her research and practice engage the public humanities to explore abolitionist possibilities in Maine. In addition to coordinating Freedom & Captivity, she has researched and published on security, militarism, displacement, and community-based activism with a focus on Somalia, post-apartheid South Africa, and the U.S. She has published nine books, contributed to the International Panel on Exiting Violence, and received recent fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations.

MacKenzie Kelley is a formerly incarcerated woman in long term recovery. She is a teachers assistant for inside-out courses through MIT. MacKenzie works at the Maine Prisoner Reentry Center as a reentry specialist, peer support and recovery coach. She is the program director for Reentry Sisters, a program designed to assist women reentering the community from prison.

Zoe Brokos (she/her) is the executive director of the Church of Safe Injection, a comprehensive harm reduction program that operates in Southern and Central Maine. Zoe is a person who uses drugs, a mom, a wife, and has led harm reduction programs in Maine for 15 years. She is part of the Maine Drug Policy Coalition, sits on the board of Decriminalize Maine and joined Justice Radio to promote compassionate conversations and drug user-led advocacy efforts that focus on evidence-based, public health responses to the housing and overdose crises in Maine.

Marion Anderson: Before joining The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls in January of 2022, Marion worked as a harm reductionist, housing navigator, certified intentional peer support specialist, CCAR recovery coach, and a re-entry coach for a diverse range of non-profit organizations.

Charlotte Warren is a former State Representative. She served on the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee for eight years – six as the house chair. Warren previously served on the Judiciary Committee and as the house chair of Maine’s Mental Health Working Group and the house chair of the Commission to Examine Reestablishing Parole. Previous to her time in the legislature, Charlotte served as Mayor of the city of Hallowell.

Linda Small is the founder and executive director of Reentry Sisters, a reentry support organization specializing in a gender-responsive and trauma-informed approach for women, serving Maine and beyond. She is a Project Coordinator for the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. Linda serves on the Maine Prison Education Partnership board at UMA and the New England Commission for the Future of Higher Education in Prison through The Educational Justice Institute at MIT.