Prison Diaries

NPR, Tuesdays On All Things Considered

NPR gave tape recorders to inmates and corrections officers to log six months in North Carolina and Rhode Island prisons. The resulting weekly segments and a one-hour special (on Jan. 30) are subtle but powerful. The most gripping accounts are those of the corrections officers. Do you pull close a crying juvenile or, in fear for your own safety, keep him 3 ft. back, according to regulation? Another officer deals with a more devastating dilemma: learning that the newest inmate is her son. Bitter moments, sweetly told.

--By Tamala M. Edwards

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