Unconfined: Joe Kirk | KALW

Unconfined: Joe Kirk

Sep 15, 2020

Joe Kirk is one of thousands released early from California prisons to slow the spread of COVID-19. The world he returned to was something he never prepared for.

Unconfined is a new series of special episodes that feature Uncuffed producers navigating life after incarceration.

Joe Kirk, free after five years in prison.
Credit Courtesy Joe Kirk

Joe Kirk was one of the founding producers of Uncuffed at Solano State Prison. After serving five years inside, he was released on July 24, about a month early.

A few weeks later, Kirk spoke with Andrew Stelzer, one of his editors from KALW, about watching the coronavirus spread inside the prisons, and reentering a world on partial lockdown.

"I don't have a California ID, birth certificate, all that and everything else, and all those places are closed down ... So if I don't have an ID or social security card, how can I get a job or be a taxpayer?"

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Today’s episode was hosted by Joe Kirk, edited by Andrew Stelzer and Eli Wirtschafter, and engineered by James Rowlands. Our theme music is by David Jassy.

KALW’s radio training program in California prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. This episode was not reviewed by CDCR.

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