Uncuffed | KALW

Uncuffed

KALW trains incarcerated people to become reporters and audio producers. Using professional-quality equipment, they record and edit their stories from inside prison.

Learn more about the project and subscribe in podcast players: WeAreUncuffed.org

Listen to more stories from San Quentin Radio

Listen to more stories from Solano State Prison in Vacaville.

This project is supported by Arts in Corrections, a program of the California Arts Council with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

 

Teaching Guitar To Get Through A Life Sentence

Oct 7, 2019
Uncuffed

 


From the series Uncuffed:

 

Kenny Gage is a music teacher I’ve known on these prison yards since the ‘90s. White-haired and unassuming, he gives his knowledge and experience of music freely. Kind of hard to believe he’ll die in prison because of a life-without-parole sentence.

Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

Like many people in prison, Chris Turgeon is complicated. He plays guitar and saxophone. He sings like an angel. And he’s also an alleged cult leader.

Spoon Jackson / Uncuffed

Content warning: this audio contains descriptions of childhood sexual abuse.

From the series Uncuffed: Only after coming to prison did Javier Wesson and Tyrone Binkley see their childhood experiences for what they were: sexual abuse at the hands of family members.

Uncuffed

Deondre Hudson always wanted to be like Superman. In prison, he got his wish. He leads a group of men who follow the teachings of Superman and the mythology of the planet Krypton.

'Monster Kody' — Monster No More?

Sep 9, 2019
Uncuffed

 


From the series Uncuffed:

 

Sanyika Shakur, formerly known as “Monster” Kody Scott, is getting out of prison. While incarcerated in 1993, he published “Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member,” which made him famous.

Uncuffed is made inside prison walls at San Quentin Prison and Solano State Prison in California. We share intimate stories of our struggles and triumphs, and of the heartache and forgiveness taking place within these walls.

Spoon Jackson / Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

Willie Woods lives for football. It runs in the family. His great uncle even played in the first Super Bowl. Willie's love of football took him all the way to the Greenbay Packers training camp. Now incarcerated, he lives out his dreams through the prison’s flag football team.

A Man Mourns The Brother He Killed

Aug 19, 2019
Steve Drown

Roderick Hall got a life sentence for killing his brother. He says he only did it to save the life of someone else he loved just as much.

Damon Cooke

I know how it feels to be whipped with a water hose, extension cord and tree branch. Like me, Joey Pagaduan uncovered his physical abuse. We both found solace in the arts.

Shakespeare Gives Actors Choices, Even in Prison

Jul 29, 2019
Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

I found acting in prison, and Steve Drown had acted most of his life through high school and college. One actor from the desert and the other from the city.

Mart Meiel, Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

When Mart Meiel was a kid, he heard his grandmother’s voice saying he would go to Alcatraz for twice as long as Al Capone. For years, he dismissed the idea. Alcatraz closed down. Then one day, Mart got a clue from an unlikely place.

Uncuffed is produced by men at Solano State Prison. Learn more about them here.

Forgiving a violent mother

Jul 15, 2019
Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

As a child, Francisco Magaña was afraid of his mother. She would beat him, and he’s carried that pain with him for the rest of his life. In this interview, Francisco opens up about his relationship with the woman who raised him.

Steve Drown / Uncuffed

From the series Uncuffed:

Throughout his troubled life, the guitar has been Joseph Kaufman’s constant companion. When he landed in prison, he discovered what he needed to change was with him the entire time.

Rehabilitation through music for imprisoned pianist

Jun 24, 2019
Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Maimon Pony’s career as a pianist was cut short by drug addiction. In Solano State Prison, he keeps practicing and waits for his release.

From San Quentin Radio: 

Eric "Maserati E" Abercrombie is a 25-year-old guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He's been in prison for eight years. In August, he’s due to get out.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Michael Dorrough was sent away for life in 1985 on a murder charge he still disputes. He spent 26 years in a cell with almost no human contact.

Oscar Grant's father reacts to new details on his son's killing

Jun 3, 2019
Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Oscar Grant Jr. is incarcerated at Solano State Prison. Ten years ago, a BART officer killed his son, Oscar Grant III. A new report contradicts that officer’s defense.

What happens during a lockdown at San Quentin?

May 13, 2019
Nigel Poor

A lockdown happens when correctional officers decide there is a threat to the safety and security of a prison. That might be a fight, an assault, or a race riot. So what's it like in a lockdown? 

Damon L. Cooke

From the series Uncuffed:

A lot of people want to get out of prison. This is the story of one bird that tried to get in.

The prisoner who died twice, and lived

May 6, 2019
Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Wilbert Stoneham has been incarcerated since the 70s – a time when prisons were especially dangerous, guards were particularly unpleasant, and Stoneham was one of their targets. He had a terrible relationship with the “watchers” which continued for over 40 years ... until the day he died.  

Steve Drown / KALW

From the series Uncuffed:

Carlos Muñoz had been incarcerated for more than 20 years when he finally found his calling—crochet. He started out in hiding, embarrassed to crochet in front of other men. But over time, he brought his art into the light. Carlos shared the wisdom he’s learned from his crochet hooks.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

A lot of people are in prison for crimes related to marijuana. But some believe that cannabis could have kept them away from crime, and out of prison.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

 

When undocumented immigrants are released from prison they can face deportation. Charles Joseph, who was born in Fiji, says that is what will happen to him.

A chef turns chow hall meals into magic

Apr 2, 2019
FRANCO FOLINI / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

  


Some inmates say food in a prison's chow hall is tasteless and bland. But that's not the case when John Parratt — also known as Yah-Yah — is in the kitchen.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

Life without the possibility of parole — LWOP — is a sentence in some ways equal to the death penalty. It means you will spend the rest of your life in prison. The only reprieve is by a governor's commutation or pardon, which is as rare as snow in Barstow, California.

Flickr user tze69, used under CC-BY-2.0

From San Quentin Radio:

Chanthon Bun is one of the incarcerated men at San Quentin who escaped the regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia as a child. He shares his story with one of the reporters at San Quentin Radio.

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

As a child, Ivan Kilgore believed in God because that’s what he was told to do. But doubts were always with him. I wondered if those doubt surged or faded when Ivan found himself faced with a lethal injection in Oklahoma.

Uncuffed poetry: Spoon Jackson

Mar 19, 2019

“At Night I Fly” by Spoon Jackson

Inside nerd culture at Solano State Prison

Mar 18, 2019
Brian McCann

From the series Uncuffed:

In prison, segregation is usually a way of life. But that’s not the case for the nerds.

Yoga is an equalizer at Solano Prison

Mar 11, 2019
Spoon Jackson

From the series Uncuffed:

Gordon Melvin, a Canadian imprisoned in California, learned how to do yoga by watching TV. Soon, he was leading classes on the yard.

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