[Correction: Prison Time airs first on Thursday -- not Tuesday. Thanks to Natasha Haverty, who's helping to produce the series, for noticing the error.]
In 1973, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller pushed through the now-famous “Rockefeller” drug laws, helping to launch the national war on drugs.
In the decades that followed, America’s prison population surged from roughly 330,000 to more than 2 million inmates. The
“tough on crime” era changed the way we think about crime and punishment.
It also sparked a massive wave of prison construction, transforming rural communities across the US. Here in the North Country,
the incarceration industry — including county, state and Federal lock-ups — is now the single largest employer.
Beginning on Thursday of next week, we’ll begin a year-long exploration of the four-decade legacy of the Rock laws, here in our region, across New York state and nationwide.
We’ll be partnering with NPR and other public radio stations and we hope to include you in the conversation. What do you think about the Rock laws, and efforts to reform them?
It’s the Prison Time Radio Project, debuting next Thursday right here on NCPR.