Ernest Drucker, Stefani Deoul, and Fay Jacobs on Woman-Stirred Radio   Leave a comment

This week on Woman-Stirred Radio, I am delighted to welcome Ernest Drucker, at 4:15, author of A Plague of Prisons (New Press, 2010). Then at 5:00 TV producer and writer, Stefani Deoul, author of  The Carousel (A&M 2010), as well as Fay Jacobs, publisher of A&M Books and author of For Frying Out Loud: Rehoboth Beach Diaries (A&M 2010).

First up at 4:15 is Ernest Drucker, scholar-in-residence and senior research associate at John Jay College of Crimminal Justice, City University of New York. He is professor emeritus of family and social medicine at Montefiore medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He is an NIH funded researcher, editor-in-chief of the International Harm Reduction Journal, a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Global Health, and a Soros Justice Fellow. He is also the founder and former chairman of Doctors of the World/USA.

A Plague of Prisons examines the decades-long explosion of mass incarcerations in the United States. Drawing upon his knowledge and experience as an Dr. Ernest Drucker lays out the horrific effects and long-term consequences of America’s prison-industrial complex, an economic system that is driven by for-profit prisons, and one in which “each individual who comes in contact with our…system… of mass incarceration remains damaged by it for life” (140). Not since Joseph Stalin’s massive prison system has a nation imprisoned so many for and for such long periods of time.

Professor Drucker’s compassionate, clear-sighted analysis is something all Americans should be aware of, especially in light of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which utilizes drug war policing tactics into America’s schools—and with terrible results. The message of this book is not only how quickly and purposefully our systems of justice policies wreak havoc on families and communities, but also why collective responsibility must make way for awareness, an understanding of the crisis and its ramifications, and for drastically needed activism and change.

Like the story of global warming and climate change, this epidemic of mass imprisonment includes many “inconvenient truths”—critical realities….such as its sheer size, huge social disparities, and monumental costs…. [u]nlike climate change, the scale and consequences of mass incarceration derive from relatively recent events and a deliberate set of public policies that continue to be defended as being in the public interest” (48).

Then at 5:00, I welcome TV producer and writer Stefani Deoul, to talk about her debut novel, The Carousel, and Fay Jacobs, publisher of A&M Books—and who also has a new book out—For Frying Out Loud: Rehoboth Beach diaries.

The Carousel tells the story of a stranger whose chance destination in a small town on the Northeast, begins a narrative of redemption, acceptance, and courage in the face of the unknown. The plot is complex but tight and very intriguing. Deoul’s characters are layered and surprising, their interactions and relationships are authentic and endearing. It’s the kind of book that stays with you, thinking and rethinking what you’ve read and why it’s striking.

For Frying Out Loud: Rehoboth Beach diaries, is fun and engaging collections of essays and vignettes sure to keep you interested and less inclined to put the book down. Here is Fay Jacobs on the lesbian baby boom:

“as the gay parenting trickle turned into a spate and then a boom, it sure has been fun to watch. Like the time we went to dinner with a couple we’d just met. As the waiter took drink orders, Bonnie and I choose vodka and tonic, one of our new friends asked for a glass of white wine, and our fourth companion looked up at the waiter and said, “Nothing for me, thanks, I just inseminated myself.” The waiter handled it rather nicely. “How about a Shirley Temple?” he asked. Then turned around and walked smack into the wall” (133).

So please tune in or stream us live at WGDR.org. Want to join in the conversation? Call 802.454.7762.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live every Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern) and strives to bring you the best in local and global queer culture. Click HERE to listen!

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