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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

On the other side of the wall: Uncuffed presents re-entry stories

Tommy "Shakur" Ross, on far left, leads a storytelling class for formerly incarcerated people, just a year after he was released from San Quentin
Leila Bihkak-Gutierrez/Community Works West
Tommy "Shakur" Ross, on far left, leads a storytelling class for formerly incarcerated people, just a year after he was released from San Quentin.

This story aired in the May 30, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.

Click the play button above to listen to the story, and click on the audio players below to listen to individual pieces produced in the class

Formerly incarcerated people can face a mountain of challenges when they come back home, including finding a job, securing stable housing, applying for loans, negotiating with parole officers, and learning new technology.

A new audio storytelling class from KALW's Uncuffed program gives people the opportunity to talk about those challenges. The class was led by Tommy "Shakur" Ross, who learned audio journalism in the Uncuffed program while he was incarcerated in San Quentin.

We’ll hear how Shakur went from prison to teaching, and we'll listen to audio stories created by participants in his class. Maria Rios and Jesse “Landon” Johnson interviewed each other about life on the outside.

Join Shakur for a live showcase from the class on June 24 in San Francisco. Uncuffed: The Other Side of the Wall.

Uncuffed's class was created in partnership with Community Works, and supported by the California Arts Council and the Unlikely Collaborators Foundation.

"I had to step back and take a breather. "Wow. I'm not here because I made wrong choices. I'm here because I made right choices, and now it's time to pass those right choices down to the next person.'"
Maria Rios

Jesse "Landon" Johnson: The Making of 'Loser'

Jesse "Landon" Johnson_The Making of 'Loser'.mp3

Maria Rios: "I Don't Wanna Do This Anymore"

Maria Rios: I Don’t Wanna Do This Anymore

AJ Jefferson: Returning To Dating

AJ Jefferson_Returning To Dating.mp3

Allen Bustos: Relearning History To Heal

Allen Bustos_Relearning History To Heal.mp3

Noe Gudino: Can't Live Without Cell Phones

Noe Gudino_Can't Live Without Cell Phones.mp3

Troy Smith: Searching For A Relationship After Prison

Troy Smith: Searching For A Relationship After Prison

Jamaal "Jae" Morgain: Patterns Of Childhood Trauma

Jae Morgain_Patterns of Childhood Trauma.mp3

turtle gurl arnie: The Importance Of Boundaries

turtle gurl arnie_The Importance of Boundaries.mp3

Dalina Gonzales: Angels Help Journeys Arrive Eventually

Dalina Gonzales_Angels Help Journeys Arrive Eventually.mp3

Chris Roberts: Neurodiverse And Not Alone

Chris Roberts_Neurodiverse And Not Alone.mp3

Mia Luevanos: To My Children

Mia Luevanos_To My Children.mp3

Anthony "Tone" Dale Evans: Generational Etiquette

Anthony "Tone" Dale Evans_Generational Etiquette.mp3

From The Producers Of UncuffedCrosscurrents
Thomas "Shakur" Ross is a producer of KALW's Uncuffed, presenting stories that show the humanity of incarcerated people.
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Stories from inside California prisons