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.

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.

Waiting for traffic court at the New Orleans Mission.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Our ongoing series Unprisoned has been bringing you stories of how mass incarceration affects New Orleans.

Last time, we learned about New Orleans Municipal Court, the largest criminal court in Louisiana. Today, we follow Municipal Court to the New Orleans Mission — where a large number of homeless people who are facing municipal charges are being served directly.

An inmate in the new Orleans Parish Prison.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

The Listening Post is teaming up with the Unprisoned project, a new media initiative by award winning independent radio producer Eve Abrams. We want to understand better how jails and prisons impact society here in Louisiana, where 1 in 75 residents are incarcerated, the highest rate in the world.

New Orleans Municipal Court handles around 30,000-40,000 cases a year.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Over the next several months, Unprisoned will look at how mass incarceration affects New Orleans — how people are doing time outside. We start at New Orleans Municipal Court with a vivid portrait of this front door to the criminal justice system.

WWNO and producer Eve Abrams have launched Unprisoned: Stories From the System, a project exploring criminal justice and corrections in New Orleans, the most incarcerated place in the world.

Abrams sat down with News Director Eve Troeh to explain how people outside of prisons are being affected as profoundly as the people who are incarcerated.

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