23 Invitation to Step Outside

We talk on the phone to Giovanni Reid, our featured juvenile lifer, in the morning and afternoon of December 22nd. Things are starting to move for juvenile lifers in general, and for Giovanni in particular. He has now been given another date to look forward to, apart from his next status hearing on January 13th – and it isn’t Christmas. He might need some more boxes……..

Intro / Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?


22 Checkpoint Correctional & Checkpoint Status

Negotiating the prison-visiting entry procedure is a grim and unforgiving experience. After getting over the access hurdles, we visit with featured juvenile lifer, Giovanni Reid, at Graterford State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania, and discover that the atmosphere in the prisoners’ confined basement visiting room is more congenial than in the open reception area, upstairs. Giovanni is hearty, healthy and upbeat, belying the oppressive environment in which he has lived for the past 25 years. Continue reading


21 Carrot & Stick – False Confession

In animated conversation with New York State exonerees, Jeffrey Deskovic and David McCallum, who were both charged with murder at age 16, and spent 16 and 29 years in prison, respectively: They talk in depth about the nature of teenage false confession, describing their own experiences, expounding on the red flags that indicate a confession may not be genuine, and outlining laws and procedures that would make false confession by juveniles less likely. Zoe reflects on developmental context. Continue reading


20 Chomping at the Bit

giovanni-reid

Frustration is perhaps more acute when there’s a hold-up on the brink of life-altering change, than during decades of hopeless stagnation. As Giovanni Reid waits for things to move on his resentencing, he talks on the phone about his impatience, what he sees happening with other prisoners in his situation, and the benefits of parole for the initial period following release. Meanwhile, he’s busy with trade and re-entry classes, ruefully anticipating not being able to help other prisoners with the legal aspects of their cases, and reflecting on possible employment paths.