Uncuffed | KALW

Uncuffed

Uncuffed is a radio series produced by men inside Solano State Prison in Vacaville, California.
The men record 40–60 minute interviews with other prisoners. They edit down those interviews into beautiful audio gems, using computers donated to the prison by KALW.

The producers come from all walks of life. They are poets, musicians, actors, and writers who share a passion for revealing the human side of incarceration.

Their names are Damon L. Cooke, Steve Drown, Spoon Jackson, Joe Kirk, Bryan Mazza, JulianGlenn Padgett, and Brian Thames. Learn more about them here.

The producers are guided by radio professionals from the outside: Hannah Kingsley-Ma, Jessica Placzek, Andrew Stelzer, and Eli Wirtschafter.

Uncuffed is supported by Arts in Corrections, a program of the California Arts Council with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Content is approved by Lt. John Ojo. Thanks also to Brian Unden, Dr. Kenya Williams, and Brian McCann.

Black, Jewish, and incarcerated

Oct 4, 2018
Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Damon Cooke and JulianGlenn “Luke” Padgett are old friends. They did time together at San Quentin before being transferred to Solano Prison. They also share a common identity: Both of them are Jewish men of color.

Spoon Jackson keeps writing poetry after 41 years in prison

Oct 3, 2018
Steve Drown and JulianGlenn Padgett

From the series Uncuffed:

Poet Spoon Jackson has won awards from PEN America, provided lyrics for Ani DiFranco, and collaborated with Swedish composer Stefan Säfsten — all while serving time. Now, Spoon is a producer for Uncuffed, KALW’s new series created by men at Solano State Prison.

Navy vet uses discipline to survive prison

Oct 2, 2018
JulianGlenn Padgett

From the series Uncuffed:

Steve Drown has been doing time since 1978. In his 40-year journey through California prisons, one way Steve has stayed out of trouble is by doing paperwork. For years, he was a clerk, typing up reports every time there was a stabbing or shooting.

Steve Drown and JulianGlenn Padgett

From the series Uncuffed:

Damon Cooke says that anger used to make him feel powerful. It would also get him into trouble. After getting locked up, Damon started to think about his relationship with rage as a kind of love affair — one that he had the power to end.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

JulianGlenn Padgett

From the series Uncuffed:

Joe Kirk is known for his quiet ways, and commitment to the arts. He’s a musician, a singer, and an actor. Before he came to prison, he used to ride the rails, going from town to town and playing music. I spoke to Joe about the life he left behind.