Cover image of Unprisoned: Stories From The System

Unprisoned: Stories From The System

From New Orleans, Louisiana, the world’s incarceration capital, stories at the intersection of human lives and the criminal legal system.

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This 'Bad Child' Became A Judge With A Passion For Justice

If there’s one person in New Orleans – in the world of criminal justice – that you really ought to meet, it’s this guy.


18 Apr 2018

Rank #1

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Defying The Odds, A Young Woman Recovers From A Childhood Police Trauma

Dominique Newton is a college sophomore. She’s only 20, but she’s already been through a lot. These days, she’s majoring in political science, with a minor in creative writing. Last time we got together, she was in the middle of writing a 10-page play, and also toting around some comic books.


4 Apr 2018

Rank #2

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Security And Discipline In New Orleans Charter Schools Makes Many Students Feel Unsafe - 10

Asha Lane is an 18-year-old senior at the International High School of New Orleans, a charter high school. Asha wanted to find out why New Orleans charter schools don’t always feel nurturing. We live in a dangerous city, but when does security feel unsafe?


11 May 2016

Rank #3

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Pioneering Female Police Officer Repaired Bonds Through Talent Shows

“Our uniforms were completely different from the men’s uniforms,” recalls Yvonne Bechet, one of the first female officers in the New Orleans Police Department. “We wore skirts. We wore one-inch heels. We wore the cutest little sailor hats, but it didn’t stay on. And we carried our weapons in a purse."


11 Apr 2018

Rank #4

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As New Orleans Incarcerates More People, More Children Have A Parent Behind Bars - 12

Over the last forty years, as incarceration has surged across the nation, so has the number of children with a family member in prison. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the number of young people with a father in prison rose 500 percent between 1980 and 2000.


8 Jun 2016

Rank #5

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Bring Your Own Presents: 'Telling My Parents'

Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in unconventional spaces within the community. Each month, eight storytellers have eight minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on All Things New Orleans and is a biweekly podcast on WWNO.org.


8 Dec 2016

Rank #6

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The Listening Post Asks: What Do Jails And Prisons Do?

The Listening Post is back collecting thoughts and experiences from communities around New Orleans on a new series of issues. The past month we’ve been collaborating with Independent radio producer Eve Abrams and her Unprisoned project.


21 Apr 2016

Rank #7

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These young New Orleans dancers want the police to know they are not a threat - 9

In the last few years, powerful images of police interacting violently with African Americans -- usually men, or teenagers, or even children -- have been on the news, all over the world.


27 Apr 2016

Rank #8

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How are the record number of people returning from La. prisons making their way in the world? - 14

Louisiana is the incarceration capital of the world. But most people behind bars aren’t locked up forever. In fact, 90 percent of them will someday be released. So that makes Louisiana also the reentry capital of the world-- a role the state is ill-prepared for.


20 Jul 2016

Rank #9

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What Does 'Adult' Mean In The Eyes Of The Law? In La., Many People Are Working To Change It - 11

At all levels of government right now, laws about juveniles are rapidly changing. However, some states, including Louisiana, continue to prosecute and sentence juveniles for sentences of life without parole.


25 May 2016

Rank #10