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Open-source criminal justice solutions podcast 70 Million from LWC Studios has published the first episode in its latest season. The narrative documentary series investigates how locals are addressing jail reform around the country. Since its launch in 2018, the show has been supported by a grant from Safety & Justice Challenge at the MacArthur Foundation.
Over three seasons, 70 Million has documented the impact of local jails in communities across the country, and what neighbors and local leaders are doing to mitigate it. Season four will delve into how police, jails, and prisons became “the catch-all for unattended social ills and forgotten populations.” Episodes will profile local residents testing radical solutions, practitioners jettisoning outmoded treatments, and those taking on the big questions that can lead to real change and alleviate the strains our bloated criminal justice matrix places on our economy, communities, and people.
“The issues 70 Million covers aren’t going away. In fact, the past year has only intensified many of them,” says Jen Chien, the show’s founding and current editor and LWC Studios’ Executive Editor. “This season we’ve assembled an amazing team of reporters—some new to the show, some returning—to dive deep, and they’ve brought us inspiring and compelling stories from all over the country. I can’t wait for audiences to hear them.”
70 Million was recognized as the bronze winner in the Narrative/Documentary Podcast category of the 2019 New York Festivals and won Silver at the 2020 competition. The show uses powerful storytelling techniques to highlight the 70 million US adults with a criminal record, the disparities that pervade the criminal justice system, and the local efforts to combat them. It’s also an educational and community outreach tool with a focus on being a catalyst for discussion, organizing and outreach around jail reform. In addition to 10 episodes each season, the show offers accompanying resource guides and annotated transcripts that are entry points for further learning.