Kite Line is a weekly radio program and podcast that focuses on issues in the prison system and beyond.

On the inside, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to guards for medical care. 

Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will pass it farther along, until it reaches its destination. 

We make this show to pass along words, across the prison walls


Recent Episodes

239 – Corcoran Does What They Wanna Do

Mwalimu Shakur, who spoke in last week’s episode about COVID-19 protocols in his facility, returns this week to share more reflections. He shares first-hand experiences of gladiator fights and organizing against the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) from the inside. Corcoran State Prison was the first prison to develop the ultra-repressive SHU.  He also talks about using his time inside to educate other, younger prisoners through reading groups on classics like George Jackson and lessons in language, Marxist theory, and

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238 – State Crime

This week, we followup on the COVID-19 conditions at Corcoran Prison in California and share news from the uprising in the St. Louis Jail. Afterwards, we finish a conversation between Dr. Jeffrey Ian Ross and Dr. Micol Seigel. Ross is a Professor at the University of Baltimore, and has researched, written, and lectured extensively on policing, political crime, state crime, and crimes of the powerful for over two decades. Last week, they discussed the concept of “convict criminology”. Convict criminology is the study of crime and prisons by formerly imprisoned academics

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237 – Convict Criminology

On January 30th, guards attacked Robert Earl Council, and beat him until he was unconscious.  Council, also known as Kinetik Justice, is a longtime imprisoned organizer and cofounder of the Free Alabama Movement.   Outside supporters have urged as many people as possible to call the Donaldson Correctional Facility and express concern for Council’s welfare.  The prison’s phone number is (205) 436-3681. This week, we sit in on a conversation between Dr. Jeffrey Ian Ross and Dr. Micol Seigel. Ross is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, College of Public Affairs, and

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236 – #CagingCOVID

This week, we share audio in support of Dan Baker and Loren Reed, and from Panagioti Tsolkas, who tells us about the important #CagingCOVID campaign and their upcoming February 1st day of action. As we’ve previously documented on Kite Line, facilities across the country have systematically failed to protect prisoners from COVID-19 and its uncontrolled spread.  We are sharing two testimonies on this horrific failure, both collected by the #CagingCOVID campaign, one from Kevin Rashid Johnson in Indiana and the other by Ricardo Pena III in Texas. You can find out more about Dan

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235 – Bare Essentials: Health Advocacy for Prisoners

On Kite Line this week, we share two interviews with advocates working on the physical well-being of those locked inside. The first conversation we hear is with Olivia, who is part of a group trying to get the word out about unsafe conditions at the California Medical Facility, or CMF, a prison for inmates with medical conditions. This facility has been overrun by the coronavirus, as a result of carelessness by the administrators. Our second call is with Peter, who talks to us about his advocacy for a friend in the DuPage County

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234 – In the Fray

This week on Kite Line, we have a wide variety of ongoing prison news- ranging from the recent executions of prisoners in Terre Haute to a prison disturbance in St. Louis. Afterwards, we share a conversation that was sent to us from an outside supporter of the ongoing Saskatoon Correctional Facility hunger strike. In this conversation, Cardinal explains what led to the hunger strike, and how outside support has been helpful to those

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