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Hiring: Audio Journalism Instructor For Prison Training Program (Bay Area, Part-Time)

Uncuffed producers Tommy "Shakur" Ross and Thanh Tran at the San Quentin Media Center
Uncuffed producers Tommy "Shakur" Ross and Thanh Tran at the San Quentin Media Center

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

We’re looking for a part-time Audio Journalism Instructor to teach our participants at San Quentin and Solano State Prisons. Preference will be given to people personally impacted by the carceral system, or have experience working with people in the system.

Apply here by Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

About the Program

KALW teaches courses in audio production and journalism in San Quentin and Solano State Prisons. The producers create the podcast Uncuffed, and stories that air on KALW 91.7 in the Bay Area. Our program is funded through a contract with the Arts In Corrections initiative from the California Arts Council with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

You'll be joining a training program and podcast that has been featured in NPR’s Weekend Edition, The New York Times, Snap Judgment, and The California Report. The creators of the podcast Ear Hustle first trained with KALW at San Quentin. You'll be part of a talented and cohesive team motivated to help you do your best work.

KALW Public Media is an NPR member station in San Francisco. Our mission is to create joyful, informative media that engages people across the economic, social, and cultural spectrum of our community. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace, in our training programs, and in our content.

About the Role

As an Audio Journalism Instructor, you will:

  • Teach in-person with a partner at San Quentin State Prison in San Rafael, and Solano State Prison in Vacaville
  • Contribute to remote instruction when access to prisons is not available
  • Contribute to a team dedicated to amplifying the voices of incarcerated people.

Lesson prep, admin, team meetings, and trainings will almost all be remote, with occasional meetings in San Francisco or Oakland. Our team uses Google Drive, Slack, Zoom, and Airtable for daily work. Past experience with those platforms is not required, but you must have strong computer skills. Experience with audio editing software is required.

This is a job for someone who is creative, organized, persistent, and works well with a team. Above all, we’re looking for someone who is enthusiastic about working with incarcerated people and amplifying their voices.


  • Able to travel to San Rafael and Vacaville
  • Experience in journalism or media
  • Proficiency with audio editing software, preferably Pro Tools.
  • 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 effectively with a remote team
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to teaching.

Preferred But Not Required

  • Personal or professional experience in prisons or similar settings
  • Experience as an educator, trainer, or mentor
  • Experience producing for radio, podcasts, or video.

Commitment and Compensation

Expected monthly compensation is between $700 and $1500, with 15 to 30 expected hours per month. The workload will vary, because prisons are sometimes closed due to COVID outbreaks or other issues.

A typical work week would include 2-3 hours of remote work, plus one full work day traveling to a prison and teaching.

Compensation will be $69 per hour for teaching, and $51.75 per hour for remote work and travel. We compensate for transportation costs.

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

The start date of the contract will be November 29, 2021, and the end date will be August 31, 2022. We expect to be able to renew your contract, depending on program funding.

COVID-19 Safety

KALW requires instructors to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to teaching in person.

As of this posting, prison staff and incarcerated people are not required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. A judge has ordered that staff get the vaccine, but CDCR is fighting the request. The situation is evolving, but you must be comfortable working indoors, with incarcerated individuals and prison staff who may not be vaccinated.

Teachers, participants, and CDCR staff are required to wear masks. KALW staff are required to test before each visit. If a facility has an active outbreak, it will be closed to visiting teachers.

More information on CDCR’s COVID-19 response and protocols.

A Note for Returned Residents

We strongly encourage people who have experienced incarceration 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 people on parole, the written approval of the Regional Parole Administrator is also required. Other returned residents have teaching roles through the Arts In Corrections program, and our team includes a returned resident staff member, and an advisory board of four returned residents.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, work samples, and references using this form. The application deadline is Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Applicants who pass the first round of interviews will be asked to edit an audio conversation using Pro Tools. We will provide a $100 stipend for candidates who complete that requirement. If you don’t have a Pro Tools license, we can arrange for you to use a computer at our office in San Francisco.

We encourage people with experience in the carceral system, people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

If you have any questions or accessibility needs please email uncuffed@kalw.org. And if you don't quite fit what's on the page here, but think you could be a strong candidate for the job, please reach out as well.

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

Thank you, and we look forward to learning about you!