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In St Louis County in Missouri – and, indeed, across much of the United States – court fines and fees for minor traffic violations can quickly mount, leading to jail for those unable to pay. This is a crisis hidden in plain sight, with non-white communities disproportionately targeted for police stops. A Debtors’ Prison tells the story of two women, Samantha Jenkins and Meredith Walker, who became plaintiffs in a landmark $4.75 million illegal jailing case. Set in the hometown of Michael Brown, the African-American teenager killed in the notorious 2014 police shooting, this short documentary by Todd Chandler and Brett Story examines the inherent inhumanity of a punitive criminal justice system that places inordinate burdens on the poor.
Directors: Brett Story, Todd Chandler
The nearly forgotten origin myth of Hawaii’s third-gender healers, as told by one
A whirlwind tour of Hong Kong’s high-rises is an awesome meditation on urbanity
Sports and games
After a day’s toil in California’s fields, labourers let loose in street races
History of technology
Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free
Thinkers and theories
Bigger isn’t better – the renegade ‘Buddhist economics’ of E F Schumacher
What do tropical fish make of the strange creatures who love them so?
Information and communication
The modern world is littered with statistical noise. Here’s how to find the signal
Teaching and learning
The charity that teaches underprivileged kids to humanely hunt their next meal
On the run from COVID-19, an Indigenous family treks deep into the Amazon rainforest