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Meet the 2023 Uncuffed crew at Solano State Prison

From left. Top: Luis Gomez, Anthony Ivy. Bottom: Bryan Mazza, Jairo Chavez, Jay Evans, bf thames.
From left. Top: Luis Gomez, Anthony Ivy. Bottom: Bryan Mazza, Jairo Chavez, Jay Evans, bf thames.

These interviews aired in the April 11, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

The 90 thousand men incarcerated in California are more than numbers. They all have stories to tell. Thats what Uncuffed, our radio production program inside state prisons, is all about.

From playwriting to computer networking, to listening to rock music. In this episode of Crosscurrents, our new group of producers at Solano State Prison in Vacaville talk about their memories, their dreams, and why they want to make radio.

"During the interview, in that moment, he got emotional. And I got emotional with him."

This show was brought to you from the team at Uncuffed. Our work in prisons is supported by the California Arts Council and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. Content is approved by an information officer.

Follow @WeAreUncuffed on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more, and support the work at: www.WeAreUncuffed.org.

This story was made to be heard. If you are able, press the play button above to listen.

From The Producers Of Uncuffed
Stories from inside California prisons
Brian “bf” Thames has published five non-fiction books while incarcerated over the last 30 years. A pending 6th book advocating self-reliance and better decision making in potentially dangerous encounters is on the way. Learning languages is an exciting pastime for him. He’s become reasonably fluent in French, conversational in Spanish, and learned ASL during the Covid-19 pandemic. His favorite animals are Great Danes, and any variation of parrots/parakeets. Acquiring general knowledge and education about the world and existence tends to make him giddy.
An avid listener of radio, award winning podcaster, and published author, Bryan Mazza spends his time writing, teaching, and training service animals for those in need. A native of California, Mazza uses his experiences to help others and to shape his artistic perspective in his many endeavors in both radio and creative writing.
Anthony Ivy is originally from North Stockton, California. He is a producer for Uncuffed and was rcently released from prison after a 13 year sentence. While incarcerated, Anthony worked and produced many stories from the inside. Since Anthony's release, he is continuing the road to success from the other side of the walls.
Jairo Isaiah Chavez was born in 1995 and raised in Soledad, California. He is passionate about helping people who face the obstacles that come from a dysfunctional upbringing and a broken community. Chavez aspires to become a youth counselor. Since 2018 he has been on a journey of personal growth. He strives to gain insight so as to better himself and in turn help better others. Chavez believes that the same way to gain positive change is by education, self-enlightenment, and decisive action.

Luis Balbino Bandilla Gomez was born in the US, and comes from a first generation immigrant Mexican family. He graduated in 2022 from Lassen Community College with Vice Presidential honors, obtaining his degree in Social Sciences. He plans to transfer to a 4-year University in pursuit of a major in Infrastructure Systems. He loves working with computers, helping others, and leads the management of KALW’s studio equipment and inventory at Solano CSP. As an Uncuffed producer, Luis makes personal public-interest stories that reflect his Mexican culture inside and outside of prison.

Walter "Jay" Evans Jr. is from Palm Springs CA. Born in 1975, he has been imprisoned since 1995. During this term, he has written plays, acted in a Shakespeare class, and earned a paralegal certificate from The Blackstone Career Institute. His intent in working with Uncuffed is to learn as much as he can and take it into the free world. He has plans to earn a broadcast journalism degree, or take the bar exam. He has written model legislation, and is a contributor to the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, and Initiate Justice.