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Eight Forty-Eight

Letters from Our Listeners

We recently debuted a our new series on Eight Forty-Eight Inside and Out. The series follows young people making their way inside and out of Illinois' juvenile prisons.

That story, of one of the young people our reporters are following, as well as the discussions we had here on Eight Forty-Eight, provoked many comments. Here's an excerpt of what Gretchen L. McDowell, Past President of the Illinois PTA wrote us:

If Angelica could have been helped while she stayed close to home, in a day program, without going to prison the first time, she might have been kept in school, and moved on to community college. Now? Gretchen points out, we have managed to help waste a life because we do not have enough programs to treat our youth before we give them a prison record, and when they get out just let them fend for themselves? She continues…we should and can do better - these are our kids, and either we help them early on, or we will be supporting them in prison or on welfare, for a long time.

We also heard from some students who are following the series. They listened and wrote us about 14-year-old Marcus's story.

Lashay is a 7th grader on Chicago's West Side:

Here's what he thinks: that Marcus's momma and his school failed to work with him. Lashay says that is why a lot of these kids end up on probation. Marcus' school didn't have to suspend him because that's just leaving him more space and opportunity to do more bad stuff cause he doesn't have anywhere else to go or anything to do.

You can hear all the stories and share your comments on the Inside and Out series.

Those aren't the only stories we told in recent weeks. We also heard about photographer Art Shay's first exhibition of color photographs.

And, our resident photographer Jason Marck isn't the only Shay fan.

Peter from Italy wrote:

Art Shay has a style. It's just too inclusive and yea-saying for our strait-minded critics to recognize as one. In a word, Shay's camera says: Nothing human is foreign to me.

A couple of weeks back we talked to Philosopher Stephen Asma about the earthquake in Haiti.

We discussed the problem of evil in the wake of Pat Robertson's comments about Haiti.

Tunde wrote us to express his frustration that we were repeating Pat Robertson's comments about how Haiti had suffered the disaster because its residents had made a pact with the devil.

Tunde says the only way of silencing his comment is not to air it again. He wishes we would have discussed the issue without replaying the comment.

We apologize if that was offensive. We played the comments because we felt we couldn't assume everyone had heard Robertson's claims.

Let us know what you're thinking. You can email us at 848@chicagopublicradio.org, call us at 312-948-4848 or Tweet us.

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