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Apr 8, 2021

Beyond Solitary series | Episode 1

In the first episode of our new series, "Beyond Solitary," Shaka Shakur talks about the history of the prison movement in Indiana, and how the movement has evolved and responded to consistent repression from the carceral state.

This is the first of two episodes featuring members of I.D.O.C. Watch, an organization of prisoners in Indiana and outside supporters, dedicated to exposing abuses by authorities in the Department of Corrections.

Shaka begins with a comprehensive account of the prison movement in Indiana in the 1980s and 1990s, including the organizing of a lengthy hunger strike in 1991. Shaka then details the ways the prison system seeks to undermine revolutionary organizing, using tactics such as long-term solitary confinement, “diesel therapy,” and domestic exile. We talk about the importance of political education and coordination inside and outside of prisons. And finally, Shaka describes I.D.O.C. Watch’s vision of and commitment to build dual power. 

Shaka Shakur is a New Afrikan political prisoner, and longtime revolutionary organizer within the Indiana and Virginia prison systems. Shaka was first imprisoned in Indiana, but was transferred to Virginia in 2019, via the Interstate Corrections Compact, a tool often used by the state to attempt to weaken the support networks and movement building surrounding political and politicized prisoners. Shaka is a member of numerous political organizations, including I.D.O.C. Watch, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, and Prison Lives Matter. Shaka has written numerous essays and reports on prison conditions, including an article published in February of 2020 on the struggle against organized white supremacists in the Indiana Department of Corrections. 

Episode Resources & Notes


"Beyond Solitary" series theme music by Alicia Lopez-Torres, Remy Erkel, and Ellis Maxwell

Hosted and edited by Ellis Maxwell

Beyond Prisons Podcast is created by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein

Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam

Theme music by Jared Ware

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