Program History

ON THE COUNT: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report is a 60 minute talk, news, and interview program featuring criminal and social justice subjects, on radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM, New York, airing weekly on Saturdays, 11:00am until 12 noon.  It is produced and hosted by women and men who are formerly or currently incarcerated.  It is broadcast in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Conn.) but is produced with the goal of appealing to a national audience. It is streamed live, podcast and archived for three months, at  The first program aired February 23, 2002.

ON THE COUNT features news, analysis, commentary, recommendations and action plans from people formerly incarcerated for people involved in criminal justice public policy formulation, research, reform, service provision, advocacy and activism. The program’s objective is to provide a forum for the discussion of criminal justice, political, community economic development and prison issues not regularly heard in traditional mainstream media.  It was to created as a platform for the voices of those historically excluded from the discussion and decision making process, yet are most directly affected by the process.

Program Goals

  1. To identify and examine local, state, national and international criminal and social justice issues directed towards reducing the inappropriate reliance on punishment and incarceration as the response to social and economic inequality.
  1. To identify and profile groups and individuals working on prison and criminal justice policies and practices that are rooted in common sense approaches for developing safe and vibrant communities, including public policy, public health, legislation, crime prevention, resocialization programs, advocacy and reform activities.
  1. To serve as a clearinghouse of information on prison and criminal justice issues, focusing on, but not limited to, questions of race, class, economic development, punishment, sentencing, drug policy, de-incarceration, pre and post release programs, community resettlement and the human and fiscal implications of each.
  1. To serve as an information resource for people and organizations working on prison, community economic development and criminal punishment issues, including formerly and currently incarcerated men and women, their families, government officials, elected representatives, business, labor, community-based social service providers, the legal and academic community, legislators, faith-based organizations, media and the general public.