Grace | Ear Hustle

My favorite podcast is behind bars. 

Image result for ear hustle

Ear Hustle, prison slang for “eaves dropping,” is an incredible podcast brought to you from the folks over at Radiotopia (I am a big big fan of Radiotopia- 99PI, Memory Palace, and The Allusionist) 

Ear Hustle chronicles the experiences of guys who are imprisoned in the California Correctional Facility San Quentin. 

With two great seasons under their belt, hosts Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor take you inside the walls of San Quentin, but even more so, they take you inside the hearts and minds of the inmates. Breaking down walls of anger, hatred, race, beliefs,  and prejudice.

Grace weaves itself into every aspect of this podcast. You hear stories from rapist, murderers, and other criminals, and while of course these men must live with their actions, almost every inmate interviewed has gone through, or begun the restorative justice process. 

Restorative justice is theory of justice, a framework to address harm, and a movement that seeks to transform people, relationships and our communities. Rooted in the traditional practices of Indigenous cultures around the world, restorative justice broadens the focus from punishment as justice to a system that creates healing and accountability by repairing harms and relationships. In practice, restorative justice brings together victims, offenders, and community members to address harms, identify needs, obligations, and the underlying causes of crime and conflict. Restorative Justice provides opportunities for all parties to share their experiences and unique journey, provide healing to victims and survivors, restore offenders to their families and communities, and prevent future harms to interpersonal relationships and communities. While repair may not be always be possible, victims, offenders and the community can come together to transform and heal the harm and suffering that comes from violence.

Listening to these adult men tell their stories, criminals convicted of heinous crimes who have been punished by the full weight of the law, come to terms with their actions, yet receive grace, is water in a dry dessert.

Listening to them speak of hope while serving life sentences, with atleast one inmate serving 19 life sentences, puts my own life in perspective and helps me find hope in my ordinary everyday life. 

The ways the men seem to find strength to give their life meaning, to continue improving themselves even while in a correctional facility is truly miraculous.

If you want a taste of the podcast, and you want to know more about San Quinten enjoy this recent video from Ted Koppel and CBS Sunday Morning

You can listen to the podcast as well as see pictures of the inmates and read the transcript on their website. Season three starts in September!

**warning, video does contain adult language, stories about non-consensual sex, as well as stories of violence and abuse.

Some humor from the guys that created the show, this was before the show even got picked up by Radiotopia 

Meet the Ear Hustle Team from PRX on Vimeo.

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