144 episodes

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.

Ear Hustle Ear Hustle Plus

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 2K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Daughters

    Daughters

    What’s it like to serve out a prison sentence alongside your mom? At the Central California Women’s Facility, a handful of mom-daughter combos are doing time together — some more harmoniously than others. We’re grateful to Rosa, Ms. Li, Tina, and Ryan for sharing their stories with us.  This episode was scored with music by Antwan Williams, Rhashiyd Zinnamon, and David Jassy.Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Parker, Associate Warden Lewis, and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for Women for their support of the show.Special thanks to Lt. Williams at the Central California Women's Facility for making our visits to the prison possible, and for her continued support of the show. Our fundraiser is almost over, and we still need 370 donors to help us reach our goal! And if you can become a monthly donor at $10 or more, we’ll give you access to ad-free episodes and bonus EH+ content as a token of our thanks! Make your gift at on.prx.org/4d5WnCm. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 43 min
    EH+ Ask Shabnam Anything

    EH+ Ask Shabnam Anything

    Ear Hustle Managing Producer Shabnam Sigman comes out from behind the scenes to talk about what she does for the show, the role chemistry class had in her career trajectory, and an exciting new Ear Hustle project that she’s leading.Mentioned in this episode:The Dawn (a newspaper in Pakistan that Shabnam’s grandfather wrote for)
    Ear Hustle CurriculumShabnam teaching EH staff BhangraGot a burning question for Nigel, Earlonne, or the rest of the Ear Hustle team? Apple subscribers: email them to ama@earhustlesq.com; Supercast subscribers: add them to earhustle.supercast.com/ama. We just might answer your question in our next AMA episode! Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    Crocasacks

    Crocasacks

    When he was growing up, gang life gave Larry confidence, purpose, and an identity. But after years behind bars, the affiliation lost its luster. He tells Earlonne about becoming Lala from the East Coast Crips, and the long road back to being Larry.Thanks to Larry Davis for talking to us for this episode.This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, Derrell Sadiq Davis, and Earlonne Woods.Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Parker, Associate Warden Lewis, and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for Women for their support of the show.Support our team and get even more Ear Hustle by subscribing to Ear Hustle Plus today. Sign up at earhustlesq.com/plus or in the Apple Podcasts app. It’s our spring fundraiser, and we’re trying to reach 1,000 donors! Learn more and donate: on.prx.org/4d5WnCm Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 49 min
    EH+ Catching up with Isme

    EH+ Catching up with Isme

    Listeners may remember Isme from the season 12 episode "Transitional." She was just out of prison when we first spoke to her, and was motivated to make it on parole so she’d be in a good place to reunite with her children. Earlonne finds out what’s happened in her life in the six months since we last heard from her.Thanks to Isme for taking time out for the followup interview.
    Is there someone from a past Ear Hustle episode you’d like an update on? Email us at info@earhustlesq.comEar Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    Catch a Kite Nationwide

    Catch a Kite Nationwide

    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 Alvin, at Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan; Silk, at Chautauqua County Jail in New York; Cortez, at Ashland County Jail in Ohio; Darrell, at Pruntytown Correctional Center in West Virginia; Alexis, at Pamunkey Regional Jail in Virginia; Owen, at North Central Regional Jail in West Virginia; Damian, at Neuse Correctional Institution in North Carolina; Chris, at Washington Correctional Center in Washington; Krista, at Leath Correctional Institution in South Carolina; Brandon, at Montana State Prison in Montana; Kelly, at Omaha Correctional Center in Nebraska; Demetrius, at Richard Handlon Correctional Facility in Michigan; Donald, at Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Oregon; Ruby, at Western Correctional Center for Women in North Carolina; and Andres, at Mount Olive Correctional Complex in West Virginia, for listening to Ear Hustle on their tablets and speaking with us for the episode. Thanks to Sophia, John, and Manuel from Los Angeles; Cameron from Boston; Gail from St. Augustine, Florida; and Erica from Centerville, Massachusetts, for calling in with their questions. Thanks also to John Timpone and Meghan Tobin of Edovo for helping us expand our Catch a Kite reach to people incarcerated across the nation.This episode was scored with music by Antwan Williams. As always, we’re grateful to Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison for her support of the show. Support our team and get even more Ear Hustle by subscribing to Ear Hustle Plus today. Sign up at earhustlesq.com/plus or right in Apple Podcasts. Our spring fundraiser is here! Learn more and donate: on.prx.org/4d5WnCm Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 32 min
    EH+ Ask Amy Anything

    EH+ Ask Amy Anything

    It’s May’s Ask Me Anything episode! This month and for the rest of the summer, Earlonne and Nigel are taking a break and the supporting crew are filling in. First up: Ear Hustle editor Amy Standen. She’ll answer questions from both EH executive producer Bruce Wallace and EH Plus subscribers. How did she get started in radio? Where’s the episode on religion? And, What song does she want played at her funeral? No prep, very little editing (we didn’t let her), and extreme candor.Things mentioned in this episode:The Leap - KQED's podcast, co-created by Amy StartUp season reported by AmyEAR HUSTLE EPISODES"What’s up Michael Freeman" - about the hospice program at CMF"The Preacher"MUSIC“No Children” by The Mountain GoatsGot a burning question for Managing Producer Shabnam Sigman or Rahsaan “New York” Thomas? Apple subscribers: email them to ama@earhustlesq.com; Supercast subscribers: add them to earhustle.supercast.com/ama. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

Ladybug Adventures ,

A podcast that opens your mind

Simply put, this podcast has really educated me about life in prison but more importantly that I had way too many misconceptions and stereotypes about the people in prisons. It has made me a better person. I now try to be someone who sees people for who they are and can be rather than for what they look like or be critical of their situation.

heeleemee ,

Ear effing hustle!

Have been so thankful for this show for years!
I believe that hearing these stories helps show the absolute value of people.
So many awesome episodes and happenings over the years. It’s been a wonderful thing, Ear Hustle team!
Just one note: Nige (sp?), step back a little. I love you but maybe say every 5th thing you think of and give more space for the other folks. You have amazing insight and I want to hear your perspective as I’m sure others do! Please understand this as a loving suggestion.
Love,
Forever fan ❤️

Rizzos Limo ,

Muppet

Love listening really gives me perspective

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