News Series Submission, Part 1
4:48 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: The Series Begins

There are about 30,000 Virginians in state prisons, and Virginia spends more than $25,000 a year to house each of them, making the Department of Corrections the most expensive agency in Richmond, with a billion dollar annual budget. It spends $160 million on healthcare, but critics say that care is inadequate, and some inmates could be dying for lack of medical attention. 

Another 30,000 people are locked up in city or county jails, and as we hear in this series, their care is also questionable.

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News Series Submission, Part 2
4:46 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: Inmates Alledge Medical Neglect

The state of Virginia spends an average of $5,300 a year per inmate for medical care in prisons, and that cost has been rising 5-7 percent per year, but taxpayers may not be getting their money’s worth, and people locked up for minor crimes could be paying with their lives.


At the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, 47-year-old Steven Jowers recalls what happened to his friend Fly.

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News Series Submission, Part 3
4:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: Mental Illness

Fifty years ago, this country began closing mental hospitals where people with psychiatric disorders were often warehoused. 

The idea was to send patients back to their communities, where they would live better lives with help from local mental health programs. 

Unfortunately, those services were limited, and many people ended up on the streets or behind bars.  Today, up to 18% of inmates in Virginia prisons are taking drugs for psychiatric conditions, and critics say some are being punished because they can’t comply with prison rules.  

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News Series Submission, Part 4
4:44 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: Elderly Inmates

Credit Family Caregiver Alliance

The United States has more people in prisons and jails than any other country in the world -- 2.2 million inmates -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years.  We’re also a graying society, with millions of baby boomers claiming the title of senior citizen. 

Those two trends spell trouble for Virginia’s prisons. 

When inmates are locked in prison, they lose their freedom - and years of their lives.  Experts like Tina Maschi, a professor at Fordham University in New York, say time behind bars makes prisoners look and feel ten years older than they are.  

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News Series Submission, Part 5
4:43 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: Pressing for Prison Reform

Credit Think Progress

By the end of this year, California must release 9,600 prisoners from the nation’s largest correctional system, because the Supreme Court says overcrowding makes it impossible to provide adequate healthcare for inmates.

Failing to do so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Virginia’s prisons are also crowded and facing a lawsuit over medical care.

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Business & Industry
4:23 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Shenandoah's New Coin

Front Royal is bracing for a crowd Friday morning, as the Shenandoah National Park prepares to unveil its very own quarter.  Coin collectors from around the country are expected, along with locals who love the park.

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Virginia's Slave Trade History
4:31 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

To Be Sold

Credit Library of Virginia, 1812

The Library of Virginia is preparing for a groundbreaking exhibition on the U.S. domestic slave trade that existed after the newly formed American nation outlawed the transatlantic slave trade. 

Richmond was a key player in the pipeline to buy and sell human beings, and some historians believe it sent more slaves to the Deep South than were initially transported across the Atlantic Ocean. 

The “To Be Sold” exhibition begins with the paintings of an English artist who was horrified by what he saw during a visit to Richmond.

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Station Promotions Entry
2:35 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Spread the Word Campaign


WVTF and RADIO IQ are asking  all of our listeners to help spread the word about public radio.

When you hear something really interesting, maybe a news feature, a commentary, an entire program…tell a friend, tell a co-worker, and let them know what you heard on your  NPR member station.

Help us spread the word about the importance of public radio WVTF and RADIO IQ in our community.

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Feature Reporting
2:10 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Wild Goose Church

Wild Goose Church, Floyd County

A new church in southwestern Virginia is looking to local culture to inspire its congregation. It celebrates the Appalachian spirit of community and practicality best demonstrated by potluck dinners and conversation, followed by music and dancing. The new church, called “Wild Goose,” opened earlier this year in a remote part of Floyd County. Robbie Harris prepared this report.


Edwin Lacey is part preacher, part musician.  That gave him an idea for this abandoned church in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.  

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