Prison labour is a feature of penal systems almost everywhere around the world and many private companies profit from it. But whose benefit is the work really for? Does it help the prisoners? Or is it just a way of reducing the huge costs that tax-payers pay each year to keep people behind bars? Join Ed Butler to hear from former prisoners and experts on prison work to find out more about the true cost of penal labour.
Chandra Bozelko, former prison inmate, writer and thought leader on issues related to criminal justice reform
Nila Bala, criminal justice policy expert at R street, a nonprofit, public policy research organization promoting free markets and limited government
Dr Jenna Pandeli, Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies, University of the West of England
Lester Young, formerly incarcerated for a life sentence, now South Carolina organiser with JustLeadership USA, a campaign group aiming to cut the US correctional population in half by 2030.
The governor and prisoners at Erlestoke Prison in Wiltshire, UK. Credit: Farming Today, BBC. Producer: Rebecca Rooney
Picture: Prisoners at Oak Glen Conservation Camp leave the minimum security prison for work deployment under the authority of Cal Fire. September 2017 near Yucaipa, California. (Credit: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images))
Time to break up big tech?
Should the big tech firms be broken up? Are companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google now so powerful and influential in the way they dominate our lives, our businesses, and certain specific markets, that they need to be cut down to size? Ed Butler is joined by a trio of expert guests to ask whether the USA and the EU need to change anti trust and competition laws in order to deal with the tech firms?
Scott Hemphill - NYU law professor. He teaches a course called BigTech and Standard Oil.
Peter Carstensen - Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
Rachel Coldicutt - CEO of Doteveryone, a London-based think tank fighting for a fairer Internet.
(Photo: A phone displays Amazon logo with a red cancel button behind. Credit: Gerry images)
The digital cost of India's elections
India is in the middle of the world’s biggest election and the battle to reach the country's 900 million voters is on every screen.
Political parties are spending big money on digital strategy and social media marketing. But is all the investment worth it? Is it reaching the voters it should and swaying political choices? Devina Gupta from the BBC's WorklifeIndia is joined by a popular actor turned politician, the public policy head of India’s own vernacular social network, and a digital marketer providing services to political parties and candidates. We ask whether digital campaigning is really a game changer?
Presenter: Devina Gupta
Contributors: Gul Panag, actor, politician and entrepreneur; Berges Malu, public policy head, ShareChat; Kapil Gupta, digital marketer and CEO, OMLogic
(Picture: A supporter seen doing a Facebook live as a political party candidate speaks during her campaign rally ahead of elections at a village in Merta, India, on April 20, 2019. Credit: Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
How China Curbs Online Gaming
Online gaming and e-sports are huge industries, but there are concerns about over-use and addiction and the way gaming takes up the time of young people. China is forcing some of its biggest games companies to put restrictions on the number of hours a day under 18s can play. But do such curbs make any difference, both to the young gamers and to the gaming business itself? Rory Cellan-Jones hears from a gaming expert and former professional e-sports player, a former online gaming addict and an expert in China's gaming industry.
(Photo:Visitors uses console at the Cyber Games Arena (CGA) eSports venue in the Mongkok district of Kowloon in Hong Kong. January 2019.. Credit: Getty Images)
Brexit: Planning in Uncertain Times
The UK parliament has rejected the Brexit deal struck between the government and the European Union. As the clock ticks to the deadline for the UK to leave the EU at the end of March, In the Balance hears how businesses are planning in times of deep uncertainty. Ed Butler asks business people in the EU and in the UK how they will manage to continue to export and import goods between the UK and the European Union if there is no deal after March 29? And Ed hears from a former senior UK civil servant on the risks ahead for trade - and what would be the best way out of the Brexit impasse?