On Friday, February 19th at 9 am EST, on our Free Prison Phone Calls Show we hosted guests Bianca Tylek, Venezia Michalsen and Jewu Richardson on the Criminal Justice Insider Podcast with Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant – Live on WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven, rebroadcast at 5 pm. Live-streamed on Facebook Live. On podcast platforms 24/7 everywhere. The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast is sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.
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Founder & Executive Director, Worth Rises
Bianca is the Founder and Executive Director of Worth Rises, a national criminal justice organization working to dismantle the prison industry and end the exploitation of those it targets, namely Black and Brown people.
Bianca is one of the nation’s leading experts on and advocates against the prison industry. She led the first successful campaign in the country to make jail phone calls free, blocked a major merger in the prison telecom market, and denied prison profiteers millions of investment dollars. Every year, under her leadership, Worth Rises publishes the innovative research about the prison industry, including the nation’s largest dataset of corporate prison profiteers. In just three years, her work has cost the industry and its investors over a billion dollars, and saved communities tormented by incarceration millions.
Bianca is a Draper Richard Kaplan Entrepreneur and has previously been awarded fellowships by TED, Art For Justice, Equal Justice Works, Harvard University, Ford Foundation, Paul & Daisy Soros, and Education Pioneers. Before committing her career to justice, Bianca worked in financial services at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Bianca holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Venezia Michalsen
Dr. Venezia Michalsen is an American intersectional feminist criminologist whose work focuses on gender and imprisonment and reentry from incarceration.
Venezia received her B.A. in 1998 from Barnard College and her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice (2007) from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She was the Director of Analysis and Client Information Systems (ACIS) at the Women’s Prison Association until she began her career as an academic in the Justice Studies Department at Montclair State University (MSU) in 2008. She is currently an Associate Professor of Justice Studies at MSU.
Venezia interrogates the use of incarceration as a response to women’s survival strategies in the face of childhood and adult abuse. She also focuses on women’s experiences of re-entry to the community from prison and jail, and in particular on the role of children in women’s desistance from criminal behavior after incarceration. Her first book, Mothering and Desistance in Re-Entry was published in 2019. She is under contract with the University of California Press for her second book.
Always an advocate for women who come in contact with the criminal justice system, Venezia’s more recent work has involved fighting for abolitionist policies in her home state of Connecticut. Venezia is the mother of a nine-year-old autistic boy, and her advocacy work for him and other children in special education has led to the formation of Special Education PTA in her town and she is working to increase police training on interactions with disabled people. In her free time, she loves to ride her bicycle, hike at Sleeping Giant State Park, and lift heavy weights.
Profile at Montclair State University (includes a CV)
Interview on the Beyond Prisons Podcast
Mothering and Desistance in Re-Entry, by Venezia Michalsen (Routledge, 2019)
“Abolitionist Feminism as Prisons Close: Fighting the Racist and Misogynist Surveillance ‘Child Welfare’ System,” by Venezia Michalsen
Please tell your friends, colleagues and clients:
The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast with Babz Rawls Ivy and Jeff Grant is broadcast live at 9 am ET on the first and third Friday of each month from the WNHH 103.5 FM studios in New Haven. It is rebroadcast on WNHH at 5 pm ET the same day.
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