26 Monsters, How They Call Us – Ben Lear on His Film Debut

Ben Lear talks about his documentary film, They Call Us Monsters, which follows three Hispanic teenagers, Jarad, Juan and Antonio, incarcerated in The Compound, the high-security facility in the middle of Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in California’s Los Angeles County, as they themselves create a screenplay for a short film under the guidance of film-director teacher, Gabriel Cowan. Continue reading


24 Coming to Harm – Boy With a Knife

Last year, Jean Trounstine published her book Boy with a Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner’s Fight for Justice, in which she tells the story of Karter Kane Reed and his journey from angry 16-year-old who killed and was incarcerated as an adult, to working, public-speaking, home-owning thirty-something member of free society. Jean talks about the kinds of cultural influences, notions of loyalty and experiences that precipitate boys towards violence, such as those portrayed in the film The Outsiders, some acknowledged by Karter himself. We reflect on the resistance of some to those who killed as teenagers being released, in the light of the Montgomery v. Louisiana SCOTUS ruling of January 2016, which will permit many who were sentenced as juveniles to Life Without Parole to go free in the coming months and years.

Intro / Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?; It’s Like Trying to Speak Swahili with Gandhi


18 Forty-Two Years & Hoping – Giovanni’s Birthday

14695318_1205522662841806_8796087147179181274_nAs Giovanni Reid turns 42, we talk with his older sister, Theresa Reid, who describes him growing up, and during the 25 years since his incarceration. We hear about the family and community environment into which Giovanni was born, and about his three closest friends, with whom he was to head for dawn disaster.

This is the first adult birthday that Giovanni can celebrate with hopes of rejoining his family…..

Intro / Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Voice of “Pop” Jimmy Reid – Jimmy Reid

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?; It’s Like Trying to Speak Swahili with Gandhi


14 Juvenile Justice News Roundup

Zoe Badovinac - juvie Album Art v1 - Copy

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Trial date set for Virginia’s lunchtime milk grabber; Juvenile Law Center examines “debtors’ prison for kids”; DC and California support laws promoting rehabilitation over incarceration for juveniles and young adult offenders; California seeks to standardize juvenile justice-related data collection.

Intro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Crayon Thesis


3 We call him Jerry – He’s my son

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No-one wants a docked cat that’s been caged for a long time…. except Pop.

We’re in South Philly, and “Pop” Jimmy tells us about his incarcerated son, Giovanni – “Jerry”, and about the effects his youngest son’s arrest, conviction and imprisonment have had on his life. Pop has recently had reason to be hopeful, though, and he has many interesting, poignant and funny stories to tell. We hear Giovanni’s first letter to “juvie”.

Details about Giovanni’s criminal case will come in future episodes – for now, let’s focus on the personalities of father and son. Let’s get to know Pop and “Jerry” first, before we delve into the particulars and circumstances of the crime for which Giovanni was convicted.

Intro/Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Voice of Giovanni: Lewis M

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?


2 juvie Preview

cropped-Zoe-Badovinac-juvie-Album-Art-v1-2-2.jpgA collection of soundbites giving a taster of people, subjects and issues to be featured in this podcast that will explore cases, legislation, experiences and ramifications of children and youth in juvenile justice AND adult criminal justice systems. A recurring theme of the show will be the story and developing situation of one particular Pennsylvania prisoner, arrested at 16, tried, convicted, sentenced as an adult.

Intro/Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Voice of Pennsylvania prisoner: Lewis M

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?