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Hiring: Lead Teacher for Podcast Program in Women's Prison (Greater Los Angeles, ~20 hrs / wk)

Former Uncuffed instructor Jessica Placzek editing with producer Steve Drown at Solano State Prison in 2018.
Peter Merts
Former Uncuffed instructor Jessica Placzek editing with producer Steve Drown at Solano State Prison in 2018.

Please note, we are no longer receiving applications to this position.

Join the team behind Uncuffed, KALW’s award-winning podcast and audio training program in California prisons.

We’re looking for a part-time Uncuffed CIW Lead Teacher to lead the creation of a new radio and podcasting training program at the California Institution for Women in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

This is an hourly contractor position with an expected commitment of 20 hours per week. The role includes a combination of remote work, and in-person teaching at CIW in Chino, CA. Tentative teaching days are Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm, pending confirmation from CIW.

Apply by 11:59 PM on Monday, January 15 at this link: bit.ly/UncuffedCIWApply2024

Learn more about Uncuffed and listen to our work: www.weareuncuffed.org

About Uncuffed

Uncuffed empowers people in prison to tell their own stories. In our training programs, participants express their humanity, develop job skills, and inspire change.

We are a program of KALW Public Media, which began working in prisons in 2012, when we set up the first radio studio at San Quentin State Prison. Today, we train people at San Quentin and Solano State Prisons in audio storytelling, interviewing, podcasting, and DJing.

In our Audio Storytelling programs, participants learn to record and edit interviews with other incarcerated people. They share their stories and conversations on the podcast Uncuffed, KALW radio, and in-prison tablets, promoting transformation inside and outside the walls. Many former participants have gone on to careers in podcasting, media, communications, and advocacy.

Job Description: Uncuffed CIW Lead Teacher

Launch an expansion of the award-winning Uncuffed audio storytelling training program into the California Institution for Women in Chino, California.

  • Prepare and lead lessons in interviewing, personal storytelling, and writing for radio, based on the existing Uncuffed curriculum
  • Supervise and co-teach with the other CIW Teacher
  • Edit student work in person at the prison, and remotely
  • Finalize content in coordination with other production staff
  • Coordinate with institutional staff to report attendance, approve content, and facilitate operation of the program
  • Support an inclusive learning environment for incarcerated students
  • Support students in their career goals post-incarceration

Lesson prep, admin, team meetings, and training will mostly be remote, with occasional team meetings in the Bay Area. Our team uses Pro Tools, Google Suite, Slack, Zoom, and Airtable for daily work. Past experience with those applications is not required, but the candidate must be able to quickly learn how to navigate new digital platforms and software.
This is a job for someone who is creative, organized, persistent, works well with a team, and is enthusiastic about amplifying the voices of incarcerated people and offering them opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

Time Commitment

Typical time commitment is 20 hours per week on average. Actual hours will fluctuate depending on class cycles, production schedules, and prison closures.

Commitment includes teaching classes twice weekly at CIW in Chino, for about 40 weeks out of the year. Tentative teaching days are Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm, pending confirmation from CIW. Substitute teachers can be found in case of travel or other absences for up to 6 weeks out of the year.

Virtual meetings with the Uncuffed team are generally condensed on Mondays.

A typical week might include 4 hours of teaching, 10 hours of admin, meetings, lesson prep, and production, and 6 hours of travel (depending on how close you are to the institution).


This is an hourly wage position, with 20 hours expected in a typical week. The contractor will be paid for hours completed at $57.50 an hour, with $35.65 an hour for travel time. Typical monthly compensation is expected to be $4,100.

We compensate for transportation costs at the federal mileage rate (67 cents per mile in 2024).

This is an independent contractor position, and we’re not currently able to offer benefits.

Contract Dates:

The target start date of the first contract will be March 1, 2024. Depending on job performance and continued program funding, we expect to renew to annual 12-month contracts beginning in July 2024.


  • Able to travel to the California Institution for Women in Chino, California.
  • Able to enter a California state prison as a program provider
  • Experience in spoken audio production (radio/podcasts)
  • Significant experience with audio editing software, preferably Pro Tools
  • Formal or informal experience as an educator, trainer, or mentor
  • Strong computer skills
  • Enthusiasm for amplifying the voices of incarcerated people
  • Can navigate the intersections of race, class, gender, and other identity markers in the pursuit of equity, inclusion, and racial justice
  • Can work collaboratively and communicate effectively with a remote team
  • Authorization to work in the United States

Preferred But Not Required

  • Personal or professional experience in prisons or similar settings
  • Comfortable navigating relevant platforms and software (including, but not limited to Google Suite, Slack, Zoom, and Airtable)
  • Management or leadership experience
  • Able to work from home

A Note for System-Impacted People

We strongly encourage people who have experienced incarceration or been impacted by the carceral system to apply. According to our contract with the state, people on parole or probation must be “one year free of any illegal activity” in order to teach in prisons, and written approval from the warden or designee is required. For those on parole, the written approval of the Regional Parole Administrator is also required. Our team includes formerly incarcerated staff members, and an advisory board of five formerly incarcerated people.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, work samples, and references using this form: https://bit.ly/UncuffedCIWApply2024. The application deadline is 11:59 PM on Monday, January 15.

Note that we are also hiring a second teacher for the CIW program. One application can be submitted for both positions.

We encourage individuals with experience in the carceral system, indigenous and people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability. See KALW's Commitment to Racial Equity.

For any questions or accessibility needs please email uncuffed@kalw.org. And for those who don't quite fit what's on the page here, but think they might be a strong candidate for the job, please reach out as well.

Learn about Uncuffed, and listen at www.weareuncuffed.org.

Thank you for applying to be a part of our team!