Live Stream with Tony Messenger and Alex Burness

Tattered Cover is pleased to welcome Tony Messenger to discuss his new book Profit and Punishment with Alex Burness. The event will take place virtually on Tuesday, January 11th at 6:30pm.

About the Book:

In Profit and Punishment, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist exposes the tragedy of modern-day debtors prisons, and how they destroy the lives of poor Americans swept up in a system designed to penalize the most impoverished.

“Intimate, raw, and utterly scathing” — Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water

“Crucial evidence that the justice system is broken and has to be fixed. Please read this book.” —James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

As a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement.

In the tradition of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, Messenger has written a call to arms, shining a light on a two-tiered system invisible to most Americans. He introduces readers to three single mothers caught up in this system: living in poverty in Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, whose lives are upended when minor offenses become monumental financial and personal catastrophes. As these women struggle to clear their debt and move on with their lives, readers meet the dogged civil rights advocates and lawmakers fighting by their side to create a more equitable and fair court of justice. In this remarkable feat of reporting, Tony Messenger exposes injustice that is agonizing and infuriating in its mundane cruelty, as he champions the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable Americans.

About the Guests

Tony Messenger is the metro columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In 2019, Messenger won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his series of columns on debtors' prisons in Missouri. In 2016, Messenger was awarded a Missouri Honor Medal, the highest award bestowed by the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. That same year he won a National Headliner for editorial writing. In 2015, Messenger was a Pulitzer finalist for his series of editorials on Ferguson, and won the Sigma Delta Chi award for best editorials of the year, given by the Society of Professional Journalists. Messenger lives in Wildwood, MO with his wife and two children. He has four grown children and eight grandchildren. Profit and Punishment is his first book.

Alex Burness covers state government for The Denver Post, with particular focus on criminal justice, fiscal policy and labor issues. He previously worked for The Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado Independent and Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Important Event Information

-- This is a live stream event using Zoom Live Streamed to YouTube. You may choose to purchase a book through the event link and still gain access to the event.

-- Tickets are limited to one ticket per email address.

-- Attendees will be sent a link to join the live stream at least 30 minutes prior of the event via email

-- Presentation begins at 6:30pm-- The event will last about one hour but the official end time of this event is an estimate

-- Event registration/tickets are available online ONLY, through Eventbrite. Tickets will not be sold in-store or through our website.

-- If you purchased a book, it will be mailed via media mail after the event

 
Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Justice Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250274649
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - December 7th, 2021

Event Location: 
Online