S2 E33: Prisoner Re-entry, Bilal Chatman & UK Surveillance: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S2 E33: Prisoner Re-entry, Bilal Chatman & UK Surveillance: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

UK Surveillance Laws

  • The UK government proposes new surveillance laws allowing extensive monitoring of online activities, including a record of every website visited for a year.

US Military and Sports Teams

  • The US military pays sports teams to include seemingly genuine emotional moments featuring military members, such as singing the national anthem or carrying the American flag, in exchange for money.

Washington Redskins Controversy

  • The Washington Redskins defend their offensive team name by listing other companies with offensive names approved by the government, including trademarks for "Seeker dating services," "capitalism sucks donkey balls," and "laughing my vagina off."
  • The Redskins argue that their name is not disparaging to Native Americans but rather intended to honor them, despite evidence to the contrary.

Criminal Justice System in the US

  • The criminal justice system in the US has many depressing aspects, including mandatory minimum sentencing, bail that punishes the poor, overworked public defenders, and small municipal violations that can lead to incarceration.

Largest Federal Prisoner Release

  • The largest one-time release of federal prisoners in history is underway in the US, with 6,000 nonviolent drug offenders being released.
  • The move is in response to a loosening of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • Some people are concerned about the potential increase in crime as a result of the prisoner release, while others argue that the prisoners were going to be released in a couple of years anyway.

Challenges Faced by Ex-Prisoners

  • Ex-prisoners face numerous challenges upon release, including lack of money, food, and shelter, as well as restrictions on employment and housing.
  • Many states have laws that make it difficult for ex-felons to get jobs, such as bans on working in certain professions.
  • Parole violations are a common reason for ex-prisoners to return to prison, even if they are not due to a new crime.

Belal Chapman's Story

  • Belal Chapman is an ex-prisoner who has managed to overcome the obstacles and become a successful employee and supervisor.
  • Chapman is worried about being judged by his co-workers for his past mistakes, but he wants them to see him as the person he is now.
  • Chapman is also a tomato grower and is proud of his accomplishments outside of his criminal past.
  • Chapman is sharing his story to inspire others and show that there is always a chance for redemption.

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