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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
History of technology
Master cartography and mythical creatures – the world according to the Catalan Atlas
Mood and emotion
A century of letters captures the emotions of life in a new city, far from home
Photographs of rainforests dissolving in acid strike a beautiful note of warning
Technology and the self
Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice
Ecology and environmental sciences
Experience the dazzling displays that fireflies create when humans are far away
Stories and literature
Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi
Before the Beatles dropped acid, a BBC workshop was creating far-out sounds
Is paying with hand-drawn banknotes artistry or forgery? The knotty case of J S G Boggs
Human rights and justice
Portugal stole Goa’s lands and narratives. Can they ever truly be returned?