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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.


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Librarian networks are trying to get books in the hands of people locked away in prisons and jails

Photo illustration; source: Paul Bersebach/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Mia Bruner is a 29-year-old librarian and founder of the Prison Library Support Network (PLSN). She spoke with Mai Tran about the difficulties of providing resources to incarcerated people during a pandemic.

Prison Library Support Network was founded in 2016, after Donald Trump was elected. …


Lola Rainey is a former Arizona county prosecutor who left her work to become an abolitionist

Photo illustration. Source: Martin Schroeder/EyeEm/Getty Images

Voices From Inside the System is a new GEN series where we interview people who have had firsthand experience in industries with especially fraught histories of systemic racism and inequity. We asked our subjects to think deeply about the role they played and the work they did. We asked them why they stayed or why they left, how they might be complicit, or if they thought they — or anyone — could fundamentally change the system.

Lola Rainey is a former Pima County prosecutor in her 60s from Tucson, Arizona. She now works as an abolitionist with a focus on…

The author of ‘Barker House’ on his time working in a New Hampshire jail

Photo illustration. Source photo courtesy of the author.

We’re standing in the sally port, 11 cadets, and even though just four weeks ago we were strangers, we’ve bonded. Team-building exercises did it: assembling Legos together while blindfolded, sweaty PT drills, communal showers, Friday night dollar drafts at Murphy’s.

Our class is a mixed bag of excited newbies and recession driven start-overs. Mainly white men in their early twenties, like me. But there’s also Tammy, a former hairdresser. And Morales, a retired gang member who’s missing the better half of his middle and ring finger on his right hand. Frank, a former actor, has bragged about a stint on…


What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

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