The Freedom & Captivity Podcast presents conversations with people at the forefront of abolitionist organizing and visioning in Maine. A new episode is launched weekly during fall 2021. The episodes will cover a broad range of issues, from abolition’s history in Maine to current calls to end youth incarceration; from alternatives to punishment that prioritize harm reduction and a different approach to drug policy to the impact on families of the criminal legal system; from the disproportionate policing experiences by Black and brown people to the use of surveillance to monitor political dissent. The Portland Media Center sponsors the podcast, which is produced by Catherine Besteman, edited by sound engineers Josh Riddle and Dino Raymond, and accompanied by the music of Samuel James.
1. ‘Let Us Not Flatter Ourselves’: Abolition’s History. Remembering the antecedents of today’s abolitionist movement. With Daniel Minter, co-founder of Indigo Arts Alliance, Lydia Moland, Professor of Philosophy at Colby College, and Kate McMahon, National Museum of African American History and Culture. Moderated by Marcelle Medford, Professor of Sociology at Bates College. Release Date: 9/7.
3. ‘Prisons Don’t Actually Fix Anything:’ Ending Youth Incarceration. On abolishing Long Creek and promoting alternatives to youth incarceration. With Maine Youth Justice organizers Adan Abdi and Skye Gosselin. Moderated by Ali Ali (Artistic Director, Maine Inside Out; Advocacy Director, Maine Youth Justice; Member, Portland Racial Equity Steering Committee. Release Date: 9/20.
4. Decolonizing Incarceration. With Maria Girouard (Penobscot), Executive Director, Wabanaki REACH, Denise Altvater (Passamaquoddy), American Friends Service Committee Wabanaki Programs and member of the Maine State Prison Board of Visitors, and Brian Altvater (Passamaquoddy), Health and Wellness Coordinator, Wabanaki REACH. Moderated by Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy), Executive Director & Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations, Abbe Museum. Release Date: 9/27.
5. ‘Why Do We Need To Be Punishing People?’: Abolitionist Feminismand the Last Girl. On the long-term impacts of charges related to sex trafficking. With dee Clarke, Founder, Survivor Speak USA and Samaa Abdurraqib, SUSSA board member and Associate Director, Maine Humanities Council. Release Date: 10/4.
6. “We’re Creating the Next Generation of Broken People:” Parenting and Prison. On DHHS and how the carceral system impacts families and parenting. With Kayla Kalel, a previously incarcerated person who is currently a birthworker with low-income folks who self-identify as being in recovery or using substances, and Wendy Smith, Washington County Community College student, Me-Rap organizer, and naloxone distributor for Maine Access Points in long term recovery from substances and a resident at the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center. Moderated by Cait Vaughan, birthworker, childbirth educator, harm reduction organizer, and Kayla Kalel, co-founder of the Birth Justice Collective. Release Date: 10/25.
7. Alternatives to Incarceration: Drug Policy. On alternatives to incarceration that focus on harm reduction rather than punishment. With Courtney Allen, Policy Director, Maine Recovery Advocacy Project and moderated by Winifred Tate, Professor of Anthropology, Colby College and Director, Maine Drug Policy Lab at Colby College. Release Date: 10/11.
8. “Finding Our Courage”: Alternatives to Incarceration for Addressing Harm. With Bruce King, Co-Executive Director, Maine Inside Out, Kels Park, former Policy and Community Advocacy Coordinator, Restorative Justice Institute of Maine, Laura Ligouri, Founder and Executive Director, Mindbridge, and Leo Hylton, Executive Secretary of the Maine State Prison branch of the NAACP and columnist for Mainer. Release Date: 10/18.
9. “We are the Revolution:” Black P.O.W.E.R’s vision. On what community-based safety and security should look like. With Mariana Angelo, co-founder of Black Portland Organizers Working to End Racism (known as Black P.O.W.E.R) and moderated by Michael Kebede, Policy Council, ACLU-Maine. Release Date: 11/1.
10. Abolition From Within? On abolitionist possibilities within the criminal legal system. With Natasha Irving, District Attorney, District 6, and Tina Nadeau, criminal defense lawyer, Executive Director of Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and moderated by Michael Kebede, Policy Council, ACLU-Maine. Release Date: 11/8.
11. Confronting Surveillance. On the Maine Information and Analysis Center (MIAC) and challenging the use of fusion centers, facial recognition technology, and other forms of state surveillance. With Brendan McQuade, Professor of Criminology, University of Southern Maine. Release Date: 11/15.
12. Immigrant Detention and Deportation. On the impact of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deportation on Maine. With Philip Mantis, Legal Director, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Theresa and Soeun Kim, and Kelly F. Merrill and Reverend Zeb Green from De-ICE Maine. Release Date: 11/22.