Prison Guard Diary
Prison guards get a bad rep and it’s mostly well deserved (don’t worry we’re not Prison Guard apologists) but this episode does shed a more human light towards them. Prisons doesn’t only cut people one way, these guards are deeply affected by their job seeping into their psyche and daily lives. In a way they’re doing time too.
Waking up knowing you’re going to die? Feeling isolated and alone? Always being defined by the worst thing you ever did? Yeah, looks like we’re not so different from death row inmates huh! This episode isn’t as somber and macabre as it seems even though death lingers in the background. The hosts interview (in a roundabout way) inmates about daily life on death row. Hearing about the routine of a person’s life is the story version of breaking bread.
A Silent Piano
An inmate learns to play the piano without a piano in prison through sheer will power, patience, and extraordinary imagination. The saddest part to me is how his potential was stifled, and now imagine the thousands of others who are just like him also incarcerated and stifled.
Love and Radio
44 Years in solitary confinement in a 54 square feet cell. Just writing that sentence scares the bejesus out of me. In this episode, you can hear the strength, the resilience, and the zen in the voice of Albert Woodfox (longest American to be solitary confined) talking about what he went through in prison. One year of his experience would have broken any average men, I would’ve broken in a week.
The best part of this episode is when the host and the guard tells you about how they managed to escape. Unfortunately it’s not told by the escapee which would’ve been amazing but that wouldn’t make sense. Also, if you get caught after a long period of time and stayed out of trouble, they kind of just let you go… good to know for future references.