• Episode 53: Insha Rahman

    Insha Rahman, vice president for advocacy and partnership at the Vera Institute of Justice and expert on bail and pretrial detention, joined us to help correct misunderstandings about bail, and she points out that reforming pretrial detention can make our communities both safe and just. She parses out the politics from the policies both nationally and in Shelby County, Tennessee, where significant changes to the pretrial detention process were implemented in mid-February 2023.

    32m | May 18, 2023
  • Episode 52: They Knew Which Way to Run

    They Knew Which Way to Run is a stunning look at the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India. The 7-part podcast series takes us on an amazing exploration of themes often discussed on The Permanent Record. Themes like accountability, pain, harm, and how we deal with those as human beings.

    41m | Mar 7, 2023
  • Episode 51: Joanna Schwartz

    A few short weeks after the killing of Tyre Nichols, UCLA Law Professor Joanna Schwartz released a very timely book. It's called Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable. In it, she describes how current law makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to hold police accountable when they violate the rights of those they are sworn to protect. She has a deep understanding of the law and the rules of civil litigation. She vividly demonstrates how the legal system all-too-often protects police officers despite appalling behavior and clear civil rights violations.

    43m | Feb 21, 2023
  • Episode 50: Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon

    On this episode Josh speaks with newly elected Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon. We learned about his career from public defense to finally taking over duties at the Juvenile Court. Judge Sugarmon comes from a family with a very distinguished history of standing up for civil rights, and he carries on that tradition.

    30m | Nov 14, 2022
  • Episode 49: District Attorney Steve Mulroy

    We're back with a special interview of the newly elected District Attorney in Shelby County, Steve Mulroy. Steve was elected on August 4th and took office on September 1st. His first week in office was marred by some of the worst incidents of crime that Memphis has seen in a long time. We discussed that first week and what it was like for him personally. Steve and his staff of more than 200 people are responsible for prosecuting every crime in Tennessee's second largest county. We talked about the priorities Steve campaigned on and how he is going about implementing them in his first few months in office. We also discussed some of his hidden talents, things you might not know about him.

    Recorded live in front of an audience of Just City supporters at Crosstown Concourse on September 29th, 2022.

    36m | Oct 3, 2022
  • Episode 48: Liliana Segura
    Liliana Segura is an award-winning investigative journalist covering the United States criminal justice system. She currently writes for The Intercept. Liliana covered the recent federal execution spree set in motion last summer by the Trump administration. We invited Liliana to share from her unique perspective, having traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana for all 13 executions. We also talked a little bit about Tennessee's renewed pursuit of executions and the future of the death penalty in America.
    38m | Feb 15, 2021
  • Episode 47: Pat Culp

    "The number of women in American prisons has risen at an alarming rate over the past three decades. In this episode, we talked with Pat Culp, the Executive Director of WEBS Memphis - Women Empowered to Become Self-Sufficient. A native Memphian, Pat has spent the last 28 years providing women in our community with valuable opportunities to return home with marketable skills and the confidence to succeed. We invited her in to discuss what inspired her, what motivates her to keep going, and how prison is different for women."

    31m | Nov 10, 2020
  • Episode 46: Kelley Henry

    Kelley Henry has spent her career fighting for people facing the death penalty in Tennessee. Currently, she is fighting for Pervis Payne who, despite consistently maintaining his innocence, is set to be executed in December. The day before we recorded this interview, a Shelby County judge ordered DNA testing in his case - a significant victory for Kelley and her team. We sat down with Kelley on Constitution Day to discuss Pervis Payne’s case and some of the many frustrations of death penalty work in Tennessee.

    As a complement to this episode, we highly recommend you read this profile of Kelley written by our friend and guest on Episode 40, Steven Hale. You can learn more about Pervis Payne at www.pervispayne.org.

    44m | Oct 1, 2020
  • Episode 45: Mark Loughney

    In October of 2018 The Marshall Project featured the work of Mark Loughney, an artist who is currently incarcerated. We began conversing with him through email and snail mail and started collaborating on an exhibit, which is still in the works. We decided it was time to talk with Mark voice to voice and let our audience hear what life is like inside and how his experience with art has affected him. Learn more about Mark and his work on his instagram page @loughneyart

    29m | Jun 18, 2020
  • Episode 44: Furonda Brasfield

    In this very special episode, we talked to “America’s Next Top Lawyer”, Furonda Brasfield former America’s Next Top model contestant, turned attorney and Executive Director of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Just City Court Watch coordinator and State organizer, Joia Erin facilitates a conversation with Furonda about the COVID-19 outbreak at Cummins State Correctional facility in Arkansas and discusses the recent deaths of young black men and women killed unjustly in America. Amidst an international coronavirus pandemic, the widespread killing of black bodies in America still persists. Listen in as Joia and Furonda discuss how police brutality is just one factor of systemic oppression.

    18m | Jun 12, 2020
  • Episode 43: Liz Ryan of Youth First

    The United States leads the world in incarceration of children, and Liz Ryan and the Youth First Initiative are leading the effort to change that. Youth justice is a frequent topic of conversation in Memphis, and Shelby County is considering a major expansion of its youth detention facility. For this episode of The Permanent Record, we talked to Liz about challenging the misconceptions of children in the justice system, political will, and the possibilities that exist when we rethink youth detention.  

    30m | Feb 17, 2020
  • Episode 42: State Representative Andrew Farmer

    State Representative Andrew Farmer lives in Sevierville, Tennessee and represents the 17th House District. He serves as Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, and we suspected he had a family connection to Dolly Parton. We invited him on the podcast to find out about both.

    33m | Jan 15, 2020
  • Episode 41: Raymond Santana

    In this very special episode, we talked to Raymond Santana - one-fifth of the group now known as The Exonerated Five. Raymond and four other young men from NYC were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. They are now the subject of Ava DuVernay's Netflix series, When They See Us.

    Seventeen years after being fully exonerated, they are finding their voices again. Raymond was in town for a few hours recently and agreed to give us a few minutes of his time. We think you'll love what he had to say.

    28m | Nov 18, 2019
  • Episode 40: Steven Hale

    Steven Hale is a staff writer for the Nashville Scene. He has been a media witness to three of Tennessee’s most recent executions. His written accounts of those experiences are very moving and provide critical insight to the politics and mechanics of capital punishment in Tennessee. Since the State has set more execution dates, including one in October, we asked Steven to join us to give his firsthand account and discuss some of the many issues surrounding our accelerated use of the death penalty.

    43m | Sep 24, 2019
  • Episode 39: Noura Jackson

    Noura Jackson was charged and convicted of killing her mother in a 2009 trial that made national headlines; however, citing significant missteps by the prosecutor in the case, her conviction was unanimously overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The lead prosecutor on the case was Shelby County’s current elected District Attorney. Maintaining her innocence, Noura entered an Alford plea to manslaughter and was released from prison 3 years ago. We sat down with Noura to talk about life before and after prison, what’s she’s up to now, and her hopes for the future.

    31m | Aug 21, 2019
  • Episode 38: Emily Bazelon

    Emily Bazelon's latest book Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration explores the critical role of the elected prosecutor in our criminal legal system. It prominently features the case of Noura Jackson, which resulted in an overturned conviction because of misconduct by the current Shelby County District Attorney General. Emily came to Memphis recently to promote her book, and she joined us in-studio for her second interview on The Permanent Record. We talked more about the power of elected prosecutors and even chatted about politics and the 2020 election.

    31m | Aug 15, 2019
  • Episode 37: Simone Weichselbaum

    Earlier this year, the Marshall Project and local journalist, Wendi Thomas, filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission over its failure to disclose financial information and other records. Simone Weichselbaum, who covers national policing policy for the Marshall Project, was investigating the claims often made by Memphis officials that an increase in the number of police officers has a direct impact on violent crime. Simone ran into a dead end when the Crime Commission refused to provide requested information, so they filed the lawsuit.

    We talked to Simone about the importance of transparency when making public safety policy; some of the unusual things she discovered about the Memphis Police Department; and the challenges of diversity and inclusion in journalism. We hope you enjoy our conversation.

    31m | Apr 1, 2019
  • Episode 36: Carrie Johnson

    Carrie Johnson ist the Justice Correspondent for National Public Radio’s Washington Desk. She covers a wide range of emerging justice issues, law enforcement stories, and legal affairs. Carrie is one of our only repeat guests on The Permanent Record. Check out her first interview (Episode 16) in our four-part series on the media. For this episode, we spoke to Carrie about the practical implications of the recently passed First Step Act and the politics that made its passage possible.

    22m | Mar 4, 2019
  • Episode 35: Mark Holden

    The new year brought new Federal criminal justice and prison reform, so we're devoting the next few episodes of the Permanent Record to examining the First Step Act. It has been widely praised and was broadly supported by a bi-partisan coalition that has become very rare for Congress. President Trump recently signed the bill, and when it goes into effect it will reduce our federal prison population. But what else will this bill do -- and what are the next steps we need to take for more meaningful reform to occur? In this episode, we discussed these questions and more with Mark Holden, General Counsel to Koch Industries, one of the bill's most outspoken supporters.

    37m | Jan 29, 2019
  • Episode 34: Rudy Valdez

    Rudy Valdez is a filmmaker committed to making cinematic, meaningful documentary films that inspire social change. We invited him on The Permanent Record to discuss his latest film, The Sentence, a documentary about mandatory minimums and sentencing reform that he shot and directed over the course of a decade. It’s available now on HBO.

    38m | Dec 10, 2018
The Permanent Record