Podcast Brunch Club

Prison: Listening List


November 8th is quickly approaching and there is much to talk about regarding the election and politics. But, how about this: let’s not. This election has caused me such anxiety (and sometimes rage) and I just can’t stomach the idea of corrupting my podcast listening me-time by knowingly assaulting my own ears with any more about it. So, let’s make November opposite month for PBC. Here’s the algebra I did to come up with the theme of PRISON :

elections = freedom
freedom ≠ x
x = prison

Also, regardless of your political leanings, you probably think at least one of the candidates for the U.S. presidency belongs in prison. So, let’s go to prison with our ears!

Here is the shortlist, but you all sent me a crazy long list of recommendations. So, if you want to dive deep into prison, check out the complete list below.

Listen to these 3 episodes about prison
  • Life of the Law – Episode 73: A Whole ‘Nother World: Live at San Quentin. Live storytelling at San Quentin prison. From the sound of it, if you have to be in prison, SQ is a great place to be with some creative programming and surprisingly thoughtful inmates. After hearing these touching stories, I decided to look up SQ prison and was surprised to find that there is a Yelp page for the prison! It has 48 reviews and comes in at 3 full stars. Not sure what to make of that considering I’ve stayed at hotels that have gotten fewer stars than that. Recommended by Aesha from PBC-CHI.
  • Reveal – [Update] The Man Inside: Four Months as a Prison Guard. In this exposé, a journalist goes undercover and gets a job as a guard inside a private federal prison. What is revealed is fascinating and terrifying. I had moments of pure empathetic anxiety. Shortly after the episode dropped, the Justice Department announced that they would no longer contract with private prisons. This episode was recommended by SO MANY people in the PBC community (thanks to Sara from Audible Feast@kjs_37, @jd_sutter, Drew from PBC-CHI, and Kevin and Christa who work at Reveal.
  • Here Be Monsters – HBM019: The Other One Percent. In 2008, Pete Brook started the Prison Photography blog to explore images of prisoners and prisons. Then, in 2011, he traveled across the U.S. visiting prisons, interviewing criminologists, photographers, and inmates. In this interview, Pete tells us about his experiences and thoughts on the prison system in the U.S. Recommended by Galen from PBC-BOS.
Conversation starters
  • Did the stories from Life of the Law – A Whole ‘Nother World: Live at San Quentin make you feel all warm and gooey or did they get you wondering about your tax dollars?
  • Did you know that private prisons existed before hearing Reveal – The Man Inside? How do you feel about the use of private prisons?
  • In Here Be Monsters – The Other One Percent, Pete Brook says that the U.S. should be treating drug addiction as a public health issue rather than a crime. Do you agree?
  • Should prisons be punitive or rehabilitative?
  • What exactly does it mean to be rehabilitated?
  • How much does incarceration have to do with justice for the victim?
  • Do you think a murderer can be rehabilitated? If so, should a rehabilitated murderer be set free?
  • How much do you think the threat of prison is a deterrent to crime?
  • Should a 16 year old who commits murder be tried as an adult? Should they be given life sentences?
  • What are your thoughts on mandatory minimums?
Long list of episode recommendations about prison

Happy listening!


  • david paul says:

    Thanks for sharing informative resource list for prison. I am writing a research paper about prison life. I was unable to find great information anywhere else but your post helped me..
    Many thanks.

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