Ear Hustle Podcast: Summer Listening

Ear Hustle Podcast talks with people experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin, and other California prisons, firsthand.



Hit podcast “Ear Hustle,” which brings listeners behind bars into California’s San Quentin prison, was named as a finalist for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize on Monday.

The podcast, which is currently in its fifth season, is co-hosted by Earlonne Woods, a former inmate at San Quentin; Nigel Poor, an artist and volunteer at the prison; and Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, a current inmate. Its episodes feature the voices and stories of men behind bars on what life is like while incarcerated, as well as stories of “reentry” into society from those, including Woods, who have been released.

“What we did was humanize [prisoners], just by telling their stories,” Woods told HuffPost of the podcast in a 2018 visit to the prison. “Once you commit your crime, people think that’s what it is, but individuals change. They don’t stay the same people that they were when they committed their crime. They grow up ― literally.”

When “Ear Hustle” launched in 2017, Woods was still incarcerated at San Quentin. He was released in late 2018 after his sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D), after serving 21 years of a 31-years-to-life sentence.

Woods is now employed as co-host of the podcast, produced by Radiotopia.