Written Inside

WBEZ Chicago

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Cockroaches. Clean freaks. Cardboard pianos. Written Inside is a podcast about life inside a maximum-security prison cell.
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16:42 | Apr 13th, 2017

He noticed something moving in the back of the cell. In this final episode, inmate James Trent describes an encounter that he'll never forget. Plus: An interview with the co-creators of Written Inside, Alex Kotlowitz and Jennifer Lackey.  Created by ...Show More

07:40 | Apr 11th, 2017

No privacy. No space. No quiet. No furniture. In this episode, inmate William Jones describes his prison cell, which is notable for what is not there rather than what is.  Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced by WBEZ Chicago's Colin McNu...Show More
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07:29 | Apr 6th, 2017

Ramon Delgado rises before dawn to thoroughly scrub his cell each morning. In this episode, an inmate describes his obsessive cleaning routine in a space caked with dust and dirt.  Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced by WBEZ Chicago's C...Show More

10:12 | Apr 4th, 2017

In prison, it's important not to allow anyone to get close to you, especially a cellmate. But this cellmate is different. In this episode, inmate Michael Carlos describes his improbable friendship with a cardboard pianist.  Created by journalist Alex...Show More

08:46 | Mar 30th, 2017

Being a recluse, especially in prison, does simplify things. In this episode, inmate Marcos Gray considers the consequences of isolating himself from other prisoners...and from his family back home.  Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced ...Show More

08:26 | Mar 28th, 2017

Pack your stuff. You’re moving. Howard Keller Jr. has been transferred over two dozen times to different prison cells. In this episode, Howard describes the anxiety he experienced before meeting his 37th cellmate. Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz...Show More

13:12 | Mar 23rd, 2017

These roaches don’t run when the light turns on. In the second episode, inmate Oscar “Smiley” Parham describes the reason he started a two-month war with super vermin in his prison cell. Created by journalist Alex Kotlowitz and produced by WBEZ Chica...Show More

09:55 | Mar 21st, 2017

How do you learn to play piano without a piano? In this first episode, inmate Demetrius Cunningham explains how he taught himself to play piano with a makeshift keyboard fashioned from something he found in prison. Created by journalist Alex Kotlowit...Show More

03:54 | Mar 15th, 2017

Written Inside is a podcast about life inside a maximum-security prison cell. Adapted from essays written at Stateville Correctional Center near Chicago, these intimate stories speak to the everyday experience of being incarcerated. Each inmate’s sto...Show More