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


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


13 Always, Giovanni – Letter from Giovanni Reid

13631489_10206644432245894_8489568290209565156_n-copy

An incarcerated podcast listener, a scuppered prison visit, inappropriate attire, and some lifer literature.

We relate some of the logistics and drawbacks of visiting the incarcerated. Meanwhile, Giovanni Reid continues to keep up with our coverage of his case, and to keep us informed about juvenile-lifer news.

Intro / Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Voice of Giovanni Reid: Lewis M

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


8 Cordless and Empowered – Tyrone Jones

dsc06176-copyWe talk to Tyrone Jones, speaking on a cordless phone, sitting in the backyard of his new home in Chester County PA, 11 days after his release from 43 years in a Pennsylvania prison. Cordless phones, cell phones, the internet, email – it’s all new technology for Ty, but he’s gradually getting to grips with these tools that facilitate his new power for self-determination.

Intro / Outro: Jeffrey Deskovic

Music: Chameleon Catholics – Where’s Cush?


3 We call him Jerry – He’s my son

DSC05886

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?