In this bonus episode of Motive, we bring you some excerpts from a special project we created.
After a years-long investigation into prisons, we wanted to make something that wasn’t just about people in prison, but also for them. In August of this year we collaborated with radio stations across Illinois to create a broadcast that was heard in prisons statewide.
We played sounds incarcerated people requested to hear from the other side of the prison wall, and dedications for sounds that family members thought would be important to their loved ones. People requested simple sounds from the outside world, like babies laughing, rain on a tin roof, the waves of Lake Michigan.
We also played people’s music requests and even an original song, “Bring It Back”, created by some students of the Rebirth of Sound program, inside Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois.
About the host
Shannon Heffernan is the host and a criminal justice reporter for WBEZ in Chicago. She has spent much of her career reporting on prisons. The work for this podcast began nearly four years ago when she got a call that an inmate at a prison had died under suspicious circumstances.