Eve Abrams

Producer

Eve Abrams first fell in love with stories listening to her grandmother tell them; it’s been an addiction ever since.

Eve is a radio producer, writer, audio documentarian, and educator. Her work airs on WWNO, as well as on national programs such as the Tavis Smiley Show, Studio 360, The World, and This American Life. Her writing is published in the 2010 collection Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, as well as in Fourth Genre, Wesleyan Magazine, and the forthcoming New Orleans atlas, Unfathomable City. She is also the co-author of the book Preservation Hall.

Eve has taught in public and charter schools, both in New Orleans and New York City, and currently teaches writing at the Waldo Burton School and an audio workshop at Tulane University.

Calvin Manny Hills and his oldest sister, Johnnie Mae Hills Sylve, get together for a Father's Day party.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

In nearly every state, prison populations have exploded -- in large part, because of drug laws and the people, like Manny Hills, who are arrested and incarcerated for those laws. Over the last 25 years, Manny, an addict, has been convicted several times for drug possession and other petty crimes. His story is pretty typical of the people who fill up our nation's prisons.

15-year-old Jewel Williams, in Sunny Summer's third period English class at Sci High.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Over the last forty years, as incarceration has surged across the nation, so has the number of children with a family member in prison. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the number of young people with a father in prison rose 500 percent between 1980 and 2000.


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at the rally at the Capitol on Youth Justice Day.
Sarah Hunt / Louisiana Center for Children's Rights

At all levels of government right now, laws about juveniles are rapidly changing. However, some states, including Louisiana, continue to prosecute and sentence juveniles for sentences of life without parole.

Asha Lane, high school senior.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Asha Lane is an 18-year-old senior at the International High School of New Orleans, a charter high school. Asha wanted to find out why New Orleans charter schools don’t always feel nurturing. We live in a dangerous city, but when does security feel unsafe?

Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

In the last few years, powerful images of police interacting violently with African Americans -- usually men, or teenagers, or even children -- have been on the news, all over the world.

In these images, black men are getting shot or choked or hauled away in handcuffs. There are others too, memorial photographs from happier times: of young boys with plump cheeks or wearing graduation caps. Photographs of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald – the list goes on.

Jahi Salaam
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

“If you grew up struggling, then you my audience,” says Jahi Salaam, an 18-year-old rapper and a poet. Jahi is from New Orleans. His first name, Jahi, means dignity in Swahili. His last name means peace. When Jahi talks about poverty, school, and prison, he says: they’re all intertwined.

This is Unprisoned.  I’m Eve Abrams.

Touro Synagogue

We are all living with mass incarceration one way or another. It affects everyone, passively or actively.

I was recently sitting in the beautiful sanctuary of Touro Synagogue in Uptown New Orleans. It was Yom Kippur, and when I looked down at the holiday bulletin, there was a posting — about mass incarceration. It was an invitation to learn about the issue.

Sheila Phipps at the Unprisoned and Bring Your Own storytelling event held March 2.
Claire Bangser / Unprisoned

What do you do when a member of your family is locked up for a crime you are sure he didn’t commit? Sheila Phipps paints.

Troylynn Robertson and Kortney Williams.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Louisiana is the incarceration capital of the world. That means more families have a loved one behind bars than in any other place.

Reuben Cain and son.
Eve Abrams / Unprisoned

The way our criminal justice system works, there’s a significant cost to just being accused of a crime. Innocent or not, one way or another, you still have to pay. Especially if you have a past.

Pages