Episode 158: Life on Parole; Revisiting MGM Springfield One Year Later

This week on NEXT: When you get released from prison on parole, it’s a chance to start fresh – turn to a new chapter. But when all you get is bus fare – and there’s no support system, no job, and you’re far from anywhere…what do you do? We’ll explore what life’s like on parole.

We’ll also look at what’s causing small-town politics to boil over in one town.

The Battle for Land in Dalton, New Hampshire

Dalton residents are divided over plans to introduce new zoning regulations with the goal of blocking the landfill.

Vermont-based solid waste company Casella says it’s running out of space for Northern New England’s trash. So it’s taking the rare step of planning a brand-new landfill – in the rural northern New Hampshire town of Dalton. 

Many residents don’t want the landfill. But as NHPR’s Annie Ropeik reports, they’re divided on whether to use zoning to block the plan.

MGM Springfield: One Year Later

A block opposite the MGM casino on Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, has mostly empty storefronts.

One year ago, MGM Springfield opened and the city’s Mayor Domenic Sarno said he was proud and honored to have MGM in town. As the casino was under construction, several local retailers and restaurants said they got a lot of new business. But now, that’s not the case. New England Public Radio’s Nancy Cohen reports. 

Life On Parole

The four-part podcast ‘Supervision’ follows one New Hampshire man’s life on parole.

One of the most important – but least understood – parts of our criminal justice system is parole. It’s a way for people who’ve been convicted of crimes and served their time, to be released back into the general public. It’s a system that makes sense on its face. It can relieve overcrowded prisons and give people a chance for a fresh start. 

But as Emily Corwin found, it rarely turns out that way. She’s an investigative reporter and editor for Vermont Public Radio -and she produced and reported the podcast Supervision for New Hampshire Public Radio. In it, she explores the story of one man on his first day of freedom. 

Photo at the top: Dalton resident and lead anti-landfill organizer Jon Swan testifies at the special town meeting on his emergency zoning proposal. CREDIT ANNIE ROPEIK / NHPR

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Producers: Carolyn McCusker and Carmen Baskauf
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Executive Producer: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Jack Rodolico, Erika Janik and Nick Capodice
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England

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