70 Million - Reform Activists and a New DA Find Common Ground

Produced by: 
Air date: 
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:00am to 11:30am
Making Contact



The first season of 70 Million will focus on how locals are addressing the role of jails in their backyards. Reporters will travel around the country and hear from people directly impacted by their encounter with jails and adjacent policies, and from those committed to reversing those effects on people and communities. Specifically aiming to chronicle the progress ground-up efforts have made in diversion, bail reform, recidivism, adoption of technology and other crucial aspects of the move toward decarceration at local levels. 

Activists in Houston were galvanized by events in Ferguson in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown. First, they took to the streets in protest. Then they started organizing. Not long after, they found a kindred spirit in the most unlikely person: a candidate for the DA office. 70 Million reporter, Ruxandra Guidi, chronicles how activists and reformers are succeeding in cutting the jail population, diverting drug arrests, and increasing accountability for local police.

Durrel Douglas, co-founder of Houston Justice; Shekira Dennis, co-founder of Houston Justice; Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney; Sandra Guerra Thompson, legal rights advocate at the Criminal Justice Institute - University of Houston; Terrance TK Koontz, organizer with Texas Organizing Project; Debra Schmidt, Assistant Chief at Harris County Sheriffs Department; Joseph Gamaldi, Houston Police Officers Union.

70 Million is made possible by a grant from the Safety and Justice Challenge at
the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Download audio file