Episodes
Published 01/11/23
Lieutenant Sam Robinson has been with Ear Hustle since day one. As he retires from his post as Public Information Officer at San Quentin, we pay tribute to the man behind the mic. Big thanks to Lt. Guim'Mara Berry and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com.
Published 01/11/23
While she was in jail awaiting her sentence, Karen was housed with a pregnant cellie on the verge of giving birth. At the time, the experience barely registered. It took us a while to understand why. This episode contains references to suicide. Listener discretion is advised. You can reach out to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a...
Published 12/14/22
If you have to serve prison time, Norway is the place to do it … at least that’s what we’d heard. Incarcerated people in Norway wear their own clothes, cook delicious meals from scratch, and even take short leaves to re-acclimate to society. Are Norway’s prisons all they’re cracked up to be? Ear Hustle takes you inside to find out. Radiotopia’s fall fundraiser is here! Donate today to support Ear Hustle and help us reach our goal of 1,000 supporters. Thank you. on.prx.org/3NQBrDp As always,...
Published 11/30/22
The Ear Hustle music episode returns! We catch up with some guys at San Quentin who are longing for love, and then, for the first time ever, we toss the mic to the ladies at the California Institution for Women. Radiotopia’s fall fundraiser is here! Donate today to support Ear Hustle and help us reach our goal of 1,000 supporters. Thank you! https://on.prx.org/3NQBrDp Thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson, Lt. Berry, and Warden Ron Broomfield at San Quentin, and to Lt. Newborg, Mr. Mumm, Acting Chief...
Published 11/16/22
From 180s and 270s to “just one long-ass hallway,” different kinds of prison architecture leave different marks on the people who live there. In this episode, like the last one, we explore how architecture shapes the experience of incarceration, and how people push back to reclaim space for themselves. Learn more about the San Francisco Public Library’s 2022 One City One Book, This Is Ear Hustle, at sfpl.org/onecityonebook. And find out how you can watch the main event — Nigel and Earlonne...
Published 11/02/22
Prisons are built with one thing in mind: surveillance. The architecture is designed to assert control and diminish privacy. But even in these spaces, people find ways to claim just a bit of privacy. In this episode and the next, we explore how individuals adapt to prison architecture. First: carving out pockets of privacy, real and imagined. Listen to Earlonne guest hosting the podcast Wrongful Conviction here. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their...
Published 10/19/22
Stories from our first-ever international reporting trip! From the nightclubs of Oslo, to Norway’s first in-prison Pride parade, to an incarcerated Danish guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer: Ear Hustle goes abroad, mics on, baby. Each episode this season will feature new artwork by an incarcerated artist. You can see their illustrations on our website. Hear the full episode of the “San Quentin Prison Report” that we mention in this episode, here. Is this your first time listening to Ear...
Published 10/05/22
Sam Brown spent 24 years in prison not just denying his crime, but lying about it, over and over again. Finally, he decided to come clean. Would the parole board believe him? Each episode this season will feature new artwork by an incarcerated artist. You can see their illustrations on our website. Is this your first time listening to Ear Hustle? Are you trying to convince a friend to start listening? For our tenth season, we’ve chosen 10 essential Ear Hustle episodes. Find those here. As...
Published 09/21/22
Life in prison can mess with your senses. There are smells you can’t unsmell, and sounds you long to hear. Some tastes you forget about entirely, and some forms of touch are almost too evocative to bear. Five San Quentin residents reflect on the sights, tastes, touch, smells, and sounds of prison life. Each episode this season will feature new artwork by an incarcerated artist. You can see their illustrations on our website. Is this your first time listening to Ear Hustle? Are you trying to...
Published 09/07/22
A special episode from Uncuffed : During the COVID lockdown at San Quentin, Steve and Darren both got unexpected letters that changed their lives. This is the second episode of the new season of KALW’s Uncuffed , a podcast training program at San Quentin and California State Prison, Solano. They’re in the middle of an emergency fundraiser right now, trying to keep their training and broadcast programs going after their main funder rescinded a grant because of a bureaucratic error. You can...
Published 08/24/22
The Ear Hustle team is hard at work on our next season, which launches September 7! In the meantime, we’d like to tell you about a new podcast, hosted by Jason Reynolds. Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, and the Library of Congress' national ambassador for young people's literature. He’s ambitious, he says yes to everything, and he’s feeling overwhelmed. On the first episode of My Mother Made Me , his new podcast with Radiotopia Presents, Jason turns to his mother for advice,...
Published 08/03/22
The jig was up for Ryan, so he told police he’d turn himself in. His mom had one request: a final family meal at Applebee’s. Plus, Earlonne and Nigel head to the intersection of Firmona and Marine Avenues in Lawndale, California, the scene of E's last memory before being locked up. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com. We’re...
Published 06/08/22
The day before committing the crime that sent him to prison, Michael stood in a parking lot in Bakersfield, California, and looked up at the sky. Twenty-two years later, Earlonne and Nigel visit that same parking lot, then return to San Quentin to tell Michael what they found. If you need help for yourself or someone else, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for...
Published 05/25/22
This season we're flipping the script on our traditional Catch a Kite episodes, exploring questions asked and answered between San Quentin State Prison and the California Institution for Women. Do men in prison form unofficial families the way incarcerated women do? Do women sentenced for killing an abusive spouse receive fair sentences? Which candies from the prison package catalog appeal the most in both places? All of this, and more, in Catch a Kite 7. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam...
Published 05/11/22
Life in prison, without regular sex and intimacy, can cause all sorts of emotional and physical issues. Yep, we're going there — to explore the impact of this constraint inside prison, and for men and women seeking close relationships after they get out. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com. Support the show and become one...
Published 04/27/22
What happens to a prison town when its main prison closes? The residents of Susanville, in Northern California, are about to find out. Ear Hustle took a road trip to see how Susanvillers — both inside and outside the prison — are reacting to the news. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com.
Published 04/13/22
Six massive murals span hundreds of feet across the walls of a San Quentin chow hall, depicting the history of California in epic scale and detail. Residents of San Quentin eat their meals surrounded by this artwork, and thousands of people see it every year. The murals have inspired countless myths and mysteries, but for a long time, little was known about the artist who painted them. In this episode, we go in search of Alfredo Santos. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron...
Published 03/30/22
We talk about love on Ear Hustle, plenty, but it’s hard to think of prison as a “romantic” place. What does dating look and feel like, on the inside? Against all odds, sometimes true love prevails. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Thanks also to everyone who called in to tell us their one-minute love stories. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com.
Published 03/16/22
In California and many other states, calls from prison are limited to 15 minutes and are monitored, recorded, and often difficult to come by. But whether you’re trying to fix a marriage or a broken wall heater, these short conversations are a lifeline for family on the outside. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com.
Published 03/02/22
Sometimes, when you’re up against a big state institution, you have to make some trouble. For this mini-episode, part of Radiotopia’s winter fundraiser, we share a few stories about incarcerated people trying to effect small change but not always getting the results they want. This special episode of Ear Hustle is a part of Radiotopia’s winter fundraiser. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. Donate today at radiotopia.fm. Thank you! As...
Published 02/23/22
We’re between seasons but have an exciting update to share with listeners: Our friend and colleague Rahsaan “New York” Thomas’ prison sentence has been commuted by California Governor Gavin Newsom. What does this mean for Rahsaan’s release from San Quentin? As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com.
Published 01/26/22
While Ear Hustle works on its next season, which starts March 2, we wanted to introduce you to the podcast Written Off. It features formerly incarcerated young writers talking about their journeys and creative processes. In this episode, host Walter Thompson-Hernández talks with writer Candice Price, and actor Keke Palmer performs one of Price’s pieces.
Published 12/29/21
This past fall, we followed a group of kids into Salinas Valley State Prison to spend two days with their dads, whom they hadn’t seen in years. Through music, crafts, and games, the idea behind Camp Grace is to put aside prison personas and reconnect with fatherhood. But relationships strained by incarceration can be hard to fix. As always, big thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Broomfield for their support of the show. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full...
Published 12/22/21
Earlier this year, some of the Ear Hustle team spent a month living under a specific set of constraints informed by the daily routines of our inside colleagues, changing the way we ate, got dressed, and exercised. The goal wasn’t to replicate prison life, but to see how constraint shapes the way we experience the world. We report back on what was hard, what was surprising, and what we discovered along the way. You can learn more about the Ear Hustle Challenge here and about Tehching Hsieh’s...
Published 12/08/21