Ear Hustle: A look inside one of the country’s most notorious prisons

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Ear Hustle is one of those podcasts that answers some burning questions most people have about criminal life, and life behind bars. Many of us get the answers to these questions from movies or TV, but Ear Hustle is the best source of information I’ve found thus far. It’s the only podcast recorded inside a prison itself, in this case the infamous San Quentin prison in California, with interviews of real inmates, real-time. Each episode has a theme such as “parenting from prison” or “unwritten rules”. It’s funny and it’s heart-wrenching, and endlessly insightful.

Nigel Poor, an artist from the bay area, kicked off Ear Hustle with an inmate she met through her volunteer work in the prison. Together they tackle telling the stories of those living inside, whether they’ve been incarcerated for 2 years or 40 years. It’s fascinating to learn about these people and hear about their experiences, and get a glimpse into what residing at San Quentin is like. Much of the content is raw and can edge on uncomfortable at times, which is why I admire the brutal honesty of this podcast so much. Do yourself a favor and open your mind to those living a very different lifestyle, whose stories you may never have the chance to hear otherwise.

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