Podcasts are audio programs that go out over the Web for free. In this piece, we profile five podcasts about prisons that you can download and listen to whenever you want. They touch on subjects from life in prison to the innocent project.
5 of the Best Prison-Related Podcasts on the Internet
Use these five prison-related podcasts to create your own radio station related to reform, issues on the inside and other topics that touch the hearts and minds of both prison advocates and loved ones.
1. Prison Diaries Podcast
Prison Diaries is a project of Radio Diaries. It’s podcast that gives both ordinary and famous people tape recorders and asks them to record the sounds and conversations of their lives.
In Prison Diaries, they gave recorders to:
- 5 inmates
- 4 guards
- 1 judge
The resulting documentaries are a fascinating insight into the penitentiary system from their varying perspectives. Check out Prison Diaries.
2. Ear Hustle Prison Podcast
Ear Hustle is both prison slang for eavesdropping and a podcast produced at San Quentin State Prison by inmates Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams. They also collaborate with Nigel Poor, an artist who volunteers at the facility.
Featuring stories and perspectives from other prisoners, the three producers discuss many aspects of prison life. This includes what it’s like to be an LGBTQ inmate, the challenges of trying to parent from prison and solitary confinement.
One of the reasons the prison-related podcast is so popular is because it enables people on the outside direct insights into the lives of San Quentin inmates. This is interesting because originally the show was designed to be something that would only be played within the prison.
Having recently completed its second season, the podcast has 10 million listeners. It’s quickly becoming the most famous podcast about the criminal justice system since Serial. Check out Ear Hustle.
3. Prison Letters with Dr. Mark Goulston Podcast
Dr. Mark Goulston is a leadership psychiatrist and business facilitator who believes that one bad decision or a quirk of fate can be the only thing that separates someone who’s incarcerated from someone on the outside.
His podcast about prisons features some interviews with people working to improve the criminal justice system. But, mostly he reads letters from prisoners seeking advice then provides a thoughtful and empathetic response.
Top marks for consistency with this host! He’s been corresponding with prisoners for the past 30 years. Check out Prison Letters with Dr. Mark Goulston.
4. Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom Prison Podcast
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a podcast about people who have spent decades in the criminal justice system. Many of them have lived on Death Row, for crimes they did not commit.
Each episode features an interview with a former prisoner. Material for the interviews is gathered from the case notes of lawyers who worked to free the inmates.
Jason Flom is also a founding board member of the Innocence Project. This organization uses DNA evidence to exonerate prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted. Check out Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom.
5. Decarcerated Prison-Related Podcast
Decarcerated is produced by Marlon Peterson, a young African-American man with a history of incarceration. He interviews other ex-prisoners who have grown to become community leaders since leaving the criminal justice system.
One of the strengths of this podcast is his intimate rapport with his guests and his oral history approach to interviews.
Peterson’s questions span the whole history of his interviewees, from childhood to their time in prison and to their lives today. Check out Decarcerated.