22 minutes | Mar 3, 2019
The Most Significant Change To The Criminal Justice System in a Generation (3-3)
The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or FIRST STEP Act reforms the federal prison system of the United States of America, and seeks to reduce recidivism. An initial version of the bill passed the House of Representatives (360-59) on May 22, 2018, a revised bill passed the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2018. The House approved the bill with Senate revisions on December 20, 2018. The act was signed by President Donald Trump on December 21, 2018, before the end of the 115th Congress. The act, among many provisions, allows for employees to store their firearms securely at federal prisons, restricts the use of restraints on pregnant women, expands compassionate release for terminally ill patients, places prisoners closer to family in some cases, authorizes new markets for Federal Prison Industries, mandates de-escalation training for correctional officers and employees, and improves feminine hygiene in prison. This is a MAJOR breakthrough in the long-fought battle for criminal justice reform. We are closer than we have been in a decade to passing robust criminal justice legislation in Congress, and one step closer to justice and relief for nearly 200,000 people in federal prisons and their families.
30 minutes | Feb 10, 2019
My Dad Was in Prison (3-2)
More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S. have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation. Their numbers swelled by 79 percent between 1991 and 2007, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) figures, largely driven by tough drug laws and mandatory sentencing. Children of color are much more likely to have a parent in prison. One in nine African-American children had a parent behind bars in 2008, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report (Pew also funds Stateline). One in 28 Latino children had an incarcerated parent and one in 57 white children did. The arrest of a parent can be traumatic for many children. As noted in a comprehensive review of research on children with incarcerated parents, “The arrest and removal of a mother or father from a child’s life forces that child to confront emotional, social and economic consequences that may trigger behavior problems, poor outcomes in school and a disruption or severance of the relationship with the incarcerated parent that may persist even after the parent is released from prison.” (Hairston 2007) Although studies have not consistently shown a causal relationship, three of five recent studies have demonstrated “an independent effect of parental incarceration on child anti-social behavior; [and] two additional studies showed an independent effect of parental imprisonment on child mental health, drug use, school failure, and unemployment.” (La Vigne, Davies and Brazzell 2008) To assist stakeholders who are involved with affected families, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) created the Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP) project. DOWNLOAD THE FREE TRANSCRIPT (PDF) About the Guest Chloe and her dad Chloe's happy, bubbly, and beautiful... inside and out! She's enjoyed family vacations to Florida, the beach, Disney world, and Washington D.C. Chloe also loves being involved in things at school such as chess club, the basketball and volleyball team, school plays and track. She went to a small rural school where everyone knew each other well. One day out of NOWHERE her life was turned upside down! Her dad had been arrested for the unthinkable crime. Not only did Chloe have to worry about what her classmates and their families might think, but she also had to be strong at home for her mom and siblings. Chloe is one amazing young lady and has been through a lot. She is very involved in her church and youth group and she gives God the glory for getting her through the very difficult past five years. The crime, the pain, the restoration and the healing! Chloe and her family are very thankful for The InterNational Prisoner Family Conference where her and her family have met many wonderful people who have been through similar hardships. Additional Resources Having a Parent Behind Bars Costs Children, StatesSesame Street reaches out to 2.7 million American children with an incarcerated parentHidden Consequences: The Impact of Incarceration on Dependent Children Parent-Child Visiting Practices in Prisons and Jails Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership
30 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
How To Tell Your Story (3-1)
DOWNLOAD THE FREE TRANSCRIPT (PDF) Have you or someone you know been affected by America’s sex offender registry? Do you have the desire to tell your story to family, friends, politicians, attorneys, lobbyists and more? Join host, Matt Duhamel and his guest for this unique and educational season three podcast opener, as they discuss the benefits of presenting your story in an effective and educational way. Stories are powerful, and we hope this podcast helps to expand understanding, empathy and legal change to a failed sex offender registry. About the Guest Janice M. Bellucci has been an attorney for more than 30 years. She founded California Reform Sex Offender Laws, a statewide non-profit dedicated to protecting the Constitution by restoring the civil rights of sex offenders and currently serves as President of that organization. In that capacity, Janice is challenging residency restrictions adopted by cities and counties which virtually banish sex offenders. In the recent past, Janice filed a series of 30 lawsuits in federal court that led to the eradication of proximity restrictions for sex offenders. Janice also successfully challenged laws passed by the City of Simi Valley, the City of Orange and the CA Department of Corrections that required sex offenders to post a sign on the front door of their home stating they were sex offenders on Halloween. The judge in the Simi Valley lawsuit granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) which prevented that city from enforcing that requirement. Additional Resources Women Against RegistryThe Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL)3 Keys to Telling Your Story WellWhy sex offender laws do more harm then good (ACLU, New Jersey)
27 minutes | Jun 20, 2017
My Husband is Incarcerated – Living as a Prison Wife (2-7)
Judee Reeves wrote in 1994, "Families of inmates have been called the "hidden victims of crime" (Carlson & Cervera, 1992, p.5). When a crime is committed, there are victims other than the primary victim(s). These secondary victims include the families of the primary victim and another often overlooked group of victims -- family members of the person who has committed the crime. The families of inmates are often overlooked in research and in designing social programs, yet many suffer devastating consequences as a result of a loved one's incarceration." Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Heather who's husband James is incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit. She lives as a 'prison wife' everyday but explains that she is blessed and happy to be married to such a loving man. Join us for this two-part podcast series about spouses behind bars. Resources: Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March InterNational Prisoner's Family Conference Hope For James - Raising Attorney Fees https://vimeo.com/222470922
27 minutes | Jun 12, 2017
Suicide and Depression Among Ex-Offenders – It’s Not All Bad! (2-6)
DOWNLOAD THE FREE TRANSCRIPT (PDF) Who is the best guest to discuss suicide and depression? How about a comedian? In this episode of Solitary Nation, nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and comedian, Frank King, joins Matt Duhamel to talk about his struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide. He also gives tips and advice to ex-offenders who, according to a new study, found that the risk of suicide for male offenders is eight times the national average, with over 25 percent of those suicides occurring in the first four weeks of their release. But the conversation isn't all gloom and doom. Frank King is a comedian so expect some lighthearted moments even during a serious conversation such as suicide and depression. This is an episode that anyone can benefit from!
20 minutes | Jun 6, 2017
What’s It Like To Be a State Prisoner? (2-5)
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be incarcerated? What about being a prisoner in a state penitentiary? Matt Duhamel invites John Charles on the show, a handicapped man who served 2 years and 8 months in the Clark County Jail (Vancouver, WA) and Washington State Prison in Walla Walla, WA. John gives listeners a first hand account of what it's like to be behind bars. He also describes his horrific days in a padded cell because medical staff in the county jail prescribed him medication that caused him to become delirious. Though his story may seem extremely negative, John is a survivor. He gives tips to individuals that may be facing incarceration. John is a free man now and enjoys time with his wife and adopted 6-year daughter.
24 minutes | May 22, 2017
Job Stability, Ex-Felons and Registered Sex Offenders (2-4)
Host, Matt Duhamel talks with Carolyn Esparza about his horrific experience with a Pacific Northwest employer over his criminal record from 10 years ago. Moving from Utah to Washington to take a full-time position with the company, Kraftwerk K9, Matt faced major backlash within a matter of days due to his past. Though he admits he only provided the half truth about his crime, both Matt and Carolyn agree that the company and their CEO, Wayne Curry, handled the situation poorly. Carolyn offers advice for the formally incarcerated on how to approach employers, when to talk about your criminal history, and the need for stable jobs for ex-felons and registered sex offenders. She also discusses her yearly Prisoner Family conference in Dallas, Texas which supports families who've been effected by mass incarceration. https://vimeo.com/218538023
24 minutes | May 16, 2017
Sex Offenders and the International Megan’s Law (2-3)
Can registered sex offenders travel outside of the United States? If so, what are their restrictions? And, how does the registry restrict the offender and his/her family within the community? Join host, Matt Duhamel and California attorney, Janice Bellucci (ASCOL) as they discuss the answers to these questions and more about America's "list" of convicted sex offenders. The International Megan's Law was reintroduced in 2015 by Rep. Christopher H. Smith as International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (H.R. 515). In addition to HR 4573, the final version of HR 515 requires a visual "unique identifier" to be placed on the passports of registrants convicted of sex offenses involving a minor. Law would also require covered offenders to notify law enforcement 21 days before traveling abroad. Critics have claimed violation of constitutional rights and note that the law would also cover those who were convicted as minors. https://vimeo.com/217556498
23 minutes | May 9, 2017
The Effects of Social Ostracism on the Formerly Incarcerated (2-2)
In this unique episode of Solitary Nation, Matt Duhamel talks with Dr. Kipling Williams from Purdue University. He is the nation's leading authority on social ostracism and social rejection. The conversation focuses on how rejection effects everyday people and especially the formally incarcerated. Dr. Williams also offers tips for people with felony records on how they can reduce anxiety and pressure from social ostracism. This is an informative podcast episode not only for people who've been incarcerated, but for all ages and social situations. The information that Dr. Williams provides can even relate to school bullying among children and teenagers.
18 minutes | May 5, 2017
Finding Redemption through Rescuing At-Risk Youth (2/1)
In this Season #2 opener, Matt Duhamel talks about Larry Lawton, the creator of the "Reality Check Program. " Larry Lawton is the only ex-con ever in the United States to be sworn in as an honorary police officer and only ex-con ever to be recognized on the Floor of the United States Congress for his work with helping young people and law enforcement agencies. You will hear discussion on how his program is helping at-risk youth, law enforcement, cities, schools, 0rganizations and families to help our youth become the best they can be.
18 minutes | May 5, 2017
Mass Incarceration in America (1/2)
Nancy Nordyke Shelley, Coordinator for Justice For All, an Affiliate of the STOP Mass Incarceration Network, joins Solitary Nation for this powerful second episode. Nancy talks about her son’s experience with the criminal justice system (he was arrested, incarcerated but NEVER convicted) and the effects of mass incarceration in America. Host, Matt Duhamel asks the tough questions about what needs to be done to fix the broken system.
18 minutes | May 5, 2017
Can Ex-Felons Be Community Leaders? (1/6)
JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030, while reducing crime. One way they are succeeding is by investing in successful formerly incarcerated leaders from across the United States. Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Khalil A. Cumberbatch from JLUSA about how ex-offenders can be leaders in the community while working for criminal justice reform. The discussion also touches on how Mr. Cumberbatch, JLUSA founder, Glenn E. Martin and the additional team members are advocating for the permanent closure of Rikers Island Jail in New York. The video podcast includes Rikers Jail news footage, stills and infographics.
19 minutes | May 4, 2017
Sex Offender Panic on Halloween (1/5)
Studies on registered sex offenders have shown no significant increase in risk for non-familial child sexual abuse on or just prior to Halloween, though states and cities continue to pass restrictions that most say are based on fear and moral panic. Some states have enacted postings of signs that read: "No Candy at this Residence", or "No trick, no treat, no candy" for registered sex offenders. (most of these restrictions are for sex offenders on parole or probation) Brenda Jones, Executive Director of Reform Sex Offender (RSOL) Laws talks with Solitary Nation host, Matt Duhamel about these ill-based restrictions and how the mainstream media fuels the fear. Episode #5 is perhaps the biggest eye opener on how America treats registered sex offenders as second class citizens and social outcasts while banning them from holiday events, public locations and even churches.
19 minutes | May 4, 2017
The Running Man: Charlie Engle’s Redemption (1/3)
Charlie Engle is a survivor. He’s been through drug and alcohol addiction, 16-months in federal prison, and numerous ultra-marathon runs including a 111 day run through the Sahara Desert and 6 countries. Host, Matt Duhamel talks with Engle about resiliency and the possibility of redemption even though society thinks you don’t deserve it. Episode #3 is a must watch (or listen) for anyone that has been down in life but has the stamina to pull through and reach new heights.
20 minutes | May 4, 2017
Fathers in Prison: Learning to Parent Behind Bars (1/4)
There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail in the United States. The number of children with a father in prison has grown by 79% since 1991. The problem has become so devastating among children that when they have a parent in prison, it is now considered an Adverse Childhood Experience. (ACE) These are staggering facts. Host, Matt Duhamel interviews Erik Vecere from the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) to discuss what correctional facilities in America are doing to help men in prison to be better dads. NFI's, "InsideOut Dad" program is also discussed and how it's been a proven system in reducing recidivism among incarcerated fathers.
20 minutes | May 4, 2017
Sex Offenders in the Community 1/1
Host, Matt Duhamel speaks with Dr. Lisa Sample of Sexual Offense Policy Research (SOPR) about her latest research on registered sex offenders reintegrating and living in the community. Matt opens up the conversation about desistance from sex offending, offender registration and notification laws, public perceptions on sex offenders and the wide supported belief that registered sex offenders are the new "lepers" in modern day society. Dr. Lisa Sample is the President of SOPR and is the Masters Program Coordinator at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.