Rattling the Bars puts the voices of the people most harmed by our system of mass incarceration at the center of our reporting on the fight to end it. The show was founded by the late Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall “Eddie” Conway, and is now hosted by Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, who himself spent 48 years behind bars.

Rattling the Bars offers an honest look at the lives of prisoners, returning citizens, their families, and their communities. With Rattling the Bars, by presenting hard data and real-life stories, we examine and seek to shift public opinion around the misconception that incarceration, punishment, and increased policing make cities safer—the truth of which has been disproven by countless studies. The series examines the history and root causes of the current so-called justice system. It showcases individuals and communities nationwide who are grappling with real solutions to problems created by the prison-industrial complex.


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This is why coming home from prison is so difficult for so many

Over 70% of incarcerated people who are released from prison in the US will be rearrested within five years of their release date. That’s no accident: our system of mass incarceration sets returning citizens up to fail.

Early release: A tribute to Marshall ‘Eddie’ Conway

It’s been one year since we lost our beloved friend, colleague, comrade, and mentor Eddie Conway. Eddie was and remains a giant in the movement for the liberation of oppressed peoples. We miss him dearly.


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