Pelican Bay UNLOCKED is a podcast created by prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison, offering the public an unfiltered view into the reality of prison life and its culture. Throughout this podcast, you will hear the voices of men sharing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a wide range of topics via stories, interviews, and group discussions. You will also hear original songs and poetry expressing their personal perspectives while depicting their life experiences and personal journeys during incarceration. It is the hope of UNLOCKED to dispel the negative images attributed to prisoners while displaying the redemptive qualities of our humanity in furtherance of rehabilitation and re-entry. Where truth meets reality, this is Pelican Bay UNLOCKED...
Pelican Bay UNLOCKED – Episode 3: Barry (OGBW)
What have you been doing since 1989? Did you graduate school? Get married? Your kids grow up and begin lives of their own? Maybe you weren’t even born in 1989…maybe your entire life has transpired in those three intervening decades between then and now.
Barry Duane Woods has been inside California State Prisons since 1989. A founding father of the Crips in Sacramento, Barry has spent those years on a deeply personal journey, along the way experiencing all that prison has to offer. Violence. Racism. Privation. The SHU.
This episode is Barry’s story, from an interview we did in the A Yard gym one sunny morning back before COVID. In it, Barry takes us from the halcyon days on the streets in the ’80s, days that had once promised a different future, to various Ag-Segs and SHUs in the ’90s, where his life was transformed into little more than a struggle to simply survive.
This is the story of Barry’s survival. And with it, we begin the tale this podcast was created to tell: The Awakening – how inmates at Pelican Bay sparked a movement that has changed the culture in California’s prisons. To understand what is happening today inside institutions like Pelican Bay, we must understand what it was like inside before…
And for that, we need to hear from someone who was there. Someone with the scars to prove it.
Pelican Bay UNLOCKED – Episode 2: Outside In
We started this episode back in March, then, well, you know…but while COVID ONE NINE might have locked everything down, it only caused a pause in the production of UNLOCKED.
In Episode 2, B Yard’s Mike Swanigan, with an assist from Kunlyna Tauch, takes you to the Criminals and Gang Members Anonymous Graduation ceremony in B Yard Visitation; he gets some prime time with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s CEO Sam Lewis, as well as other key voices in the ARC. Then, kicking it over to A Yard, the crew interviews Mark Taylor, a member of the ARC’s Hope and Redemption Team, about how the ARC helped him get free, and what it took for him to start giving back.
Marco Garcia from A Yard talks with Andrew Winn and Gunner Johnson of Project Rebound, an organization that strives to connect inmates and parolees with higher education in the CSU system. (For FIFTY years!) Then Barry Woods and Henry Ruiz hit the Talent Showcase put on by the College of the Redwoods Pelican Bay Scholars, interviewing some of the presenters and guests. We also get a taste of the Showcase. (You can catch the Pelican Bay Scholars Talent Showcase in its entirety on the Sidebars page. Same with Big Mike’s ARC interviews and A Yard’s conversation with Mark Taylor.)
Where truth meets reality…
Pelican Bay UNLOCKED – Episode 1: Capone
Imagine you are in prison and someone tells you that a new inmate on your tier is from your hometown, and it turns out that the new guy is also a member of your victims’ family. This is the story of Audio Journalism student Marcel Buggs and a face from his past: Capone. The dialogue they share in this episode encompasses more than the particulars of their collective history, it also addresses the nature of recrimination, retribution, responsibility, and, ultimately, forgiveness. Along the way, we also hear from other UNLOCKED voices about the Victim Offender Education Group, the unforeseen, self-inflicted consequences of crime, and the acceptance and transcendence of past trauma. Tracks:1. Dreams – cold-open poem by Kunlyna Tauch2. Intro – written and voiced by Mike Swanigan3. Capone 1 – Marcel Buggs and Antwan Johnson (Capone) get into their story4. VOEG – Henry Ruiz on the Victim Offender Education Group5. Capone 26. Don’t Cry For Me – spoken word from Barry Woods7. Ripples – Daniel Noriega shares a sad story of unexpected consequences8. Capone 39. House Training – Abdul Hafiz (Otis Crawford) on forgiveness and trauma10. Wholeness In Body – rap written and performed by Ayodele Patterson over Not The Cypher from Benjamin Banger11. Capone 412. Outro – Abdul HafizAll the music used in this episode was the result of several online searches for “license-free low-fi chill jams.” Thanks to the artists that just put their stuff out there for the world to use!
Pelican Bay UNLOCKED – Episode Zero: An Introduction
Fifteen men currently incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison, each with a story and a desire to express their personal transformations behind bars. In this Introduction, each member of the production team gets his turn at the mic to introduce himself; interspersed are excerpts from one-on-one interviews and panel discussions. Subsequent episodes will deal with different aspects of incarceration, but Episode 0 is simply about the guys.
Much LOVE and MANY THANKS to BenJamin Banger for letting us use his tracks throughout this entire episode! We found him on Free Music Archive; you can follow him on Instagram HERE! Also, love to Checkie Brown for use of Yesterday Night (CB 012) for Barry’s intro. Find more Checkie Brown at www.musikbrause.de. Creative Commons License (by-nc-nd) for the copyrights lawyers!
Customer ReviewsSee All
Inspiration and Wisdom
While I can't visit, it's great to hear my friends' voices and the remarkable spirit of the inspiring men of Pelican Bay.
Keep up the good work
My husband is currently at pelican bay A yard I always encourage him to join programs n be the best he can he has been down for 15 years at the age of 15 he began his sentence he has my support as well as I have his this road we both travel on is very hard it has its good moments n bad moments but we manage to stay strong for each other...However what you guys are doing is such a great thing letting us knw how things are there n your experiences so that we as people understand certain things that go on cuz it’s not easy I’m sure keep up the good work who knws maybe my husband can join to podcast lol good job guys much respect
Great job fellas