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Your Call

A conversation with formerly incarcerated creators of Uncuffed

Ninna Gaensler-Debs KALW / Uncuffed

On this edition of Your Call, Isiah Daniels and Tommy Shakur Ross join us for a wide ranging discussion about the prison system, their trip to the world’s first International Prison Radio Conference in Oslo, Norway last summer, restorative justice, media coverage of crime, and more.

Isiah Daniels and Tommy Shakur Ross collectively spent 57 years behind bars. Ross helped launch the radio program at San Quentin State Prison and Daniels is an advisor to Uncuffed, a show made by people behind bars in California prisons.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that San Quentin State prison will be converted from a maximum-security prison into a rehabilitation and education facility modeled after the Norwegian system. His plan is to turn the prison's Rehabilitation Center into the final stop of incarceration before individuals are released by 2025, with a focus on job training for trades, including plumbers, electricians, and truck drivers, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Isiah Daniels, artist and creator of Mwasi Arts, substance abuse counselor, and concrete mason who was released from San Quentin State Prison in 2015 after 21 years

Tommy "Shakur" Ross, valedictorian of Patten College, peer health educator, organizer, and restorative justice practitioner who was paroled last April after 36 years and seven months

Web Resources:

Uncuffed: Voices from behind prison walls

San Quentin News: Uncuffed alumni attend international prison radio conference in Norway

KQED: San José Artist Isiah Daniels on What California Can Learn From Norway's Prison System

Current: First-ever International Prison Radio Conference shows potential of ‘story power’ to effect change

The New York Times: San Quentin Could Be the Future of Prisons in America

The Guardian: Ending San Quentin’: plan would turn prison into ‘Norwegian style’ rehab center

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.