A podcast produced at San Quentin about the parole process has won a national award.
The podcast was produced by UnCuffed, a program at San Quentin’s Media Center that teaches original production of a podcast to the incarcerated, and first aired in 2021.
Called “Nate’s Going Home,” the first-place winning episode highlighted Nathan McKinney’s parole process, including prior denials and his continued persistence that allowed him to finally obtain a release date. McKinney paroled from San Quentin earlier this year.
“McKinney earned his freedom,” said UnCuffed facilitator Greg Eskridge.
The award was given by the Public Media Journalists Association to UnCuffed and its broadcast affiliate, KALW Radio.
Eskridge gave credit to UnCuffed incarcerated staff and volunteer Ninna Gaensler-Debs. “The crew is phenomenal. As facilitator, I surrounded myself with brilliant people,” said Eskridge.
Besides Eskridge, collaborators on the project included McKinney, Than Tran, Chanton Bun, Tommy Shakur Ross, and Edmund Richardson.
Gaensler-Debs said, “This deserved recognition is great for the incarcerated men who work countless hours getting their voices out to the public. And it was really great seeing Nathan’s story actually winning that award.”
Eskridge added, “Our award shows us what we can do as far as teaching the outside world. The national accolades allow us to put our voices out where we can serve the underrepresented.”
UnCuffed podcasts are available for download from standard podcast outlets like Spotify and can be heard in the Bay Area on KALW 91.7 FM on its Cross Currents program.