Unprisoned: Stories From The System

Producer Eve Abrams asked students at Riverdale High School in Jefferson, La. about the criminal justice system, and their thoughts on redemption and punishment.
Credit Jason Saul

Independent producer and longtime WWNO collaborator Eve Abrams brings us Unprisoned: Stories From The System. From New Orleans and Louisiana, the world’s incarceration capital, we meet those serving time inside and outside the criminal justice system.

Unprisoned shares stories to incite conversation about the ways mass incarceration affects families, communities and notions of justice. What has Louisiana done to become the incarceration capital of the world? Is our criminal justice system making us safer? How are we all passively or actively supporting the current system? What do we want for our future?

We listen hard to the ways our criminal justice system engenders financial, legal and personal hardships for families, neighborhoods and larger communities, and how incarceration perpetuates cycles of poverty and violence. We focus in particular on how children — often from a very young age — are caught in the system of correctional control with little hope of ever escaping it, a cultural contradiction that at once elevates youth as exceptional and vulnerable while simultaneously criminalizing them at an alarming rate.

Unprisoned’s editors are Viki Merrick, Senior Producer/Editor for Transom.org and co-producer of The Moth Radio Hour with Jay Allison, and Katy Reckdahl, a New Orleans-based news reporter and frequent contributor to the New Orleans Advocate, the Hechinger Report, and The New York Times.

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Unprisoned is produced by Eve Abrams and brought to you by WWNO and Finding America, a national initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated, and with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ways to Connect

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.

Cheryl Gerber

Democrat John Bel Edwards has been elected to serve as Louisiana’s next governor. That’s partly because more voters than expected cast ballots in Saturday’s election.  Some go to greater lengths than others to vote… including some current and former inmates.

89.9 WWNO — New Orleans Public Radio is launching an experimental new community-embedded reporting series, focused on the Louisiana criminal justice system. The station was one of 15 organizations chosen from over 200 entrants in a nationwide competition to incubate storytelling experiments and expand public media to more Americans.

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