RE: Debtors’ Prison
Saturday, August 6, 1:00 pm
Using Mark Bradford’s exhibition, Receive Calls On Your Cell Phone From Jail, as a point of departure, this program examines debtors’ prisons—the practice of jailing people who are unable to pay fines for minor offenses. Blake Strode, Skadden Fellow and staff attorney for ArchCity Defenders, leads a lively discussion on this issue, which affects the lives of a number of St. Louis citizens.
Blake Strode is a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney with ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit civil rights law firm providing holistic legal advocacy and combating the criminalization of poverty and state violence against poor people and people of color. Blake is a native of the St. Louis region and co-author of “Debtors’ Prison in 21st-Century America,” which appeared in The Atlantic in February of 2016.
Qiana Williams is a life-long resident of St. Louis and mother of two who has endured the injustices of local debtors’ prisons for most of her life. By sharing her story through local and national media, Qiana has inspired many others to come forward and challenge the practices of the region’s municipal courts and jails. This past December, Qiana was invited to share her story at the White House as part of an event on prison, debt and bail practices.