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Telling the stories of California’s prisons

KALW's Nancy Mullane spent the last year touring the most secure prisons in California, including death row at San Quentin, the Protective Housing Unit at Corcoran, and Pelican Bay State Prison. 

She sat down with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) deputy secretary Terry Thornton to discuss why these stories aren’t told more often.

TERRY THORNTON: “Now, we are a law enforcement agency, there is always going to be certain things we can’t show a reporter or can’t talk about, things are being investigated, crimes do go on in prison. Inmates do have rights, including their information being protected... The challenge has been though, is reporters actually getting out from behind their computers and getting inside a prison.”  

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete conversation.

Crosscurrents CrosscurrentsMullane prison access
Nancy Mullane develops, reports, and produces feature stories for This American Life, National Public Radio, and KALW. She is the author of the book Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption.