Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle is prison slang for eavesdropping, and that’s what listening to the show feels like: a raw, often funny, and always surprising peek into the reality of life inside prison. Hosts Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods co-created the show that launched in 2017 while Earlonne was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, where Nigel was a volunteer teaching photography. Since Earlonne’s release in 2018, the show has expanded to include stories from prisons across the state, including the California Institution for Women, as well as stories about getting out of prison and starting over, post-incarceration. From finding romance, to grappling with a life sentence, to trying to parent via 15-minute phone calls, Ear Hustle stories deliver what This American Life host Ira Glass calls a “"very real” and “untragic” take on prison life. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at radiotopia.fm and learn more about Ear Hustle at earhustlesq.com.

Episodes

May 15, 2024 32 mins

For our latest Catch a Kite episode, we’re taking advantage of a new tool: the electronic tablets that recently became available in 400+ jails and prisons across the nation. Using their tablets, incarcerated Ear Hustlers from around the country responded to listener questions, including: What do people in prison hide from their families? And what’s something that you can only learn from being in prison?

Thanks to A...

Mark as Played

In honor of Mother’s Day, some decidedly un-Hallmark-y stories about incarceration and motherhood. 

Thanks to Mary Behun, Reggie, and Kat for speaking with us for this episode. 

This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, Fernando Arruda, Dwight Krizman, Rhashiyd Zinnamon, and Earlonne Woods. 

Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Actin...

Mark as Played
April 17, 2024 49 mins

Inside prison, as well as out, some of us cling to stuff and some of us let go. In this episode: two cell-block neighbors engage in a gentle dispute, Tony attempts to Marie Kondo his future from inside prison, and Mesro won’t have his keepsakes disrespected.

Thanks to our colleagues and collaborators inside San Quentin — Carrington, Mesro, Sadiq, and Tony — for talking to us about their stuff, and to Tony’s Uncle Er...

Mark as Played
April 3, 2024 44 mins

Twelve years ago, Nigel asked San Quentin resident Greg Eskridge to write a list of everything he owned in prison. That much, Earlonne remembers. The rest of this episode is a surprise gift, from one Ear Hustle host to another. 

Thanks to Greg Eskridge for speaking and sharing his lists with us. You can hear more of Greg on the podcast Uncuffed, a podcast training program based in San Quentin and Solano prisons. 

Mark as Played
March 20, 2024 53 mins

A bucolic garden, six kinds of breakfast cereal, and around-the-clock bedside vigil: How one California prison is trying to mitigate the fears and unknowns of dying inside prison.

Thanks to Joseph Bick, Michele DiTomas, Terrance Harris, Allan Hickman, Gerard Hite, Jerry Judson, Keith Knauf, Alan Krenitsky, Kenneth Langill, Jeff Maria, Earl Miller, Michael Powell, and Frederick Roberts for speaking to us for this episode.

...

Mark as Played
March 6, 2024 28 mins

We’ve never based a whole episode on a poem before, but this one, by Sky, took us by surprise. It’s both a record of longing for all the things she can’t do in prison — sleep in a teepee, have a cookie jar, touch a rabbit — and a way of doing those things in her mind. 

Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Williams and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for W...

Mark as Played

Season 13 is coming soon; in the meantime, here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in Ear Hustle Plus, our new subscription feed. In this excerpt, Nigel and Earlonne listen back to their very first episode, “Cellies,” and chat with executive producer Bruce Wallace about what life was like behind the scenes when Ear Hustle first stepped into the world, what’s changed since then, and the question in that episode that drove Earlo...

Mark as Played
December 20, 2023 46 mins

In honor of our 100th episode (!), Ear Hustle revisits our very first one – “Cellies” – this time with a twist: Residents of the California Institution for Women tell us stories about “bunkies,” the good, the bad, and the…complicated.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and Lt. William Newborg at the California Institution for Women for th...

Mark as Played
November 29, 2023 42 mins

When she was in her 20s, Shanna was the victim of a violent attack. Ten years later, she’s ready to talk about the experience and the “full-time job” of recovery.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and Lt. William Newborg at the California Institution for Women for their support of the show.

Can’t get enough Ear Hustle? Sign up for Ear H...

Mark as Played
November 15, 2023 47 mins

Nigel and Earlonne visit the largest women's prison in the world, the Central California Women's Facility, and speak to five people about building a life in a tough environment, and calling that place home.

Special thanks to Warden Anissa De La Cruz and Lt. Monique Williams for welcoming us to CCWF. Thanks also to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and...

Mark as Played
November 1, 2023 38 mins

Can a prison be haunted? And why are good ghost stories — inside or outside of prison — so hard to come by? The Ear Hustle team goes ghost hunting at San Quentin and the California Institution for Women.

We’re going on the road! Check out our upcoming tour dates at earhustlesq.com/tour.

Can’t get enough Ear Hustle? Sign up for Ear Hustle Plus, our new subscription service. You'll get ad-free episodes, bonus episodes, acc...

Mark as Played
October 18, 2023 60 mins

If San Quentin were a magazine, what would it sound like? Ear Hustle’s new team inside – Sadiq, Steve, Tam, and the Two Tonys – delivers audio stories hot off the press, from the institution’s popcorn craze to its new tablets and those weird-looking gazebos out on the yard.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and Lt. William Newborg at the...

Mark as Played
October 4, 2023 38 mins

Producer Rahsaan “New York” Thomas takes us inside the parole-ordered transitional housing he’s been living in since getting out of prison. For many people, these residences are a godsend. For others, they’re a frustrating limbo between prison and being truly free.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Smith and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison and Acting Warden Hill and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for Women for...

Mark as Played

Prisons weren’t designed for older folks, and the California Institution for Women is no exception. Nigel and Earlonne pay a visit to CIW’s Senior Center to hang out with a group of women aged 70 and up and hear their stories about aging inside.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and Lt. William Newborg at the California Institution for W...

Mark as Played
September 6, 2023 49 mins

Inspired by the classic This American Life episode “24 Hours at the Golden Apple,” the Ear Hustle team documents one day in the life of San Quentin’s lower yard, from Haka dancing to dominoes; gospel to geese; and weight-lifting to waiting to get out.

Big thanks to Acting Warden Oak Smith and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Molly Hill and Lt. William Newborg at the California Institution...

Mark as Played
July 5, 2023 35 mins

It’s summertime! Which means the Ear Hustle team is off cooking up a new batch of stories for our next season — Season 12 — launching September 6.

In the meantime, we’re bringing you an episode from one of our favorite new podcasts, Violation. The series revisits a 1986 murder case, in which 16-year-old Jacob Wideman — son of award-winning author John Edgar Wideman — fatally stabbed his summer camp roommate. Violation exp...

Mark as Played
June 21, 2023 50 mins

In honor of Pride month, we’re serving up some of our best stories about the LGBTQ community inside prison, including: a love story set out on the yard at San Quentin State Prison; two trans women on their journey from a men’s prison to a women’s prison, thanks to a new California law; and the first-ever Pride parade held inside a Norwegian prison.

Big thanks to Warden Ron Broomfield and Lt. Guim'Mara Berry at San Quentin...

Mark as Played
June 7, 2023 52 mins

Is there such a thing as a prison uniform? Turns out, it takes two podcasts to answer that question. Nigel and Earlonne team up with Avery Trufelman from the Radiotopia pod Articles of Interest to find out why incarcerated people wear what they do, and how they make it their own.

Big thanks to Guim'Mara Berry and Acting Warden Oak Smith for their support of the show.

Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX....

Mark as Played
May 24, 2023 44 mins

Over at San Quentin, a new preacher has started drawing crowds on the yard. He’s charismatic, soft-spoken, and devout. He says he’s a different man than he was when he committed the crimes that put him in prison. But how can he, or anyone else, really know?

Big thanks to Guim'Mara Berry and Acting Warden Oak Smith for their support of the show.

Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Find a full list of epi...

Mark as Played
May 10, 2023 65 mins

Imagine you’re an archaeologist tasked with going through someone’s garbage. What will you learn about their habits and desires, their values, and how they spend their resources? For seven days, the entire Ear Hustle team, both inside and outside San Quentin, stashed our trash, revealing some new and surprising things about each other.

Big thanks to Guim'Mara Berry and Acting Warden Oak Smith for their support of the show...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    The Nikki Glaser Podcast

    Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

    White Devil

    Shootings are not unusual in Belize. Shootings of cops are. When a wealthy woman – part of one of the most powerful families in Belize – is found on a pier late at night, next to a body, it becomes the country’s biggest news story in a generation. New episodes every Monday!

    Start Here

    A straightforward look at the day's top news in 20 minutes. Powered by ABC News. Hosted by Brad Mielke.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.