Criminal Justice Hits The Airwaves

Brian Slattery Photo

Brian Slattery Photo

Babz Rawls-Ivy wears a lot of hats. She is the editor of the Inner-City News, a print weekly by and for members of the black community. Monday through Friday, she hosts WNHH Community Radio's “LoveBabz LoveTalk,” and appears as a frequent guest on Pundit Friday with Paul Bass.  She has also co-edited the Justice Imperative Blog, dedicated to thinking about "how hyper-incarceration hijacked the American dream," with Jeff Grant.

Grant is the executive director of Family ReEntry, a social service organization in Bridgeport working with people who have gotten out of prison. Through a number of integrated approaches, it seeks to help prevent them from going back in. 

He and Rawls-Ivy have a lot in common: They both write, they both have appeared on radio as interviewer and interviewee, they are both deeply involved in their churches. Both also served prison sentences themselves—and are ready to unpack those stories on the airwaves.

Examining prison sentencing and reform, they are now co-hosts of a new show on WNHH called “Criminal Justice Insider,” that tackles criminal justice issues from the inside out.

“Criminal Justice Insider” will air once a month on WNHH. The show will feature Rawls-Ivy, Grant, and a rotating series of guests who discuss the lives of people in prison and how it affects not only the prisoners themselves, but their families. In part, that's because when one family member goes to prison, “the whole family goes to prison,” they agreed on their debut episode.

They will also talk about the lives of people who have gotten out, and the factors that contribute to them going back in — or staying out for good by rebuilding their lives. It's a reality both of them have lived.

"I am so delighted to do this!" Rawls-Ivy wrote to The Arts Paper on Wednesday. "To really shed light on what it means to re-enter society from time spent incarcerated. Jeff Grant is dynamic. I felt his passion of this ministry the first time we met. It was a pleasure co-editing the Justice Imperative blog. From that experience we’ve become great friends dedicated to this criminal justice work!"

"It is a real blessing to be a voice for so many," she added. "To tell our stories, to highlight criminal justice innovations and to dispel myths."

This announcement first appeared earlier this week in our news affiliate, the New Haven Independent. This version appears with additions and edits. To listen, click on or download the audio above.