(Colorado Inmates are learning to do other things than making license plates!) (License plate belongs to Chris K) | By Madi Skahill, 5280.com | Americans have been tuning in to the radio for decades to listen to their favorite music, call in to talk shows, or simply start their morning with coffee and the news broadcast. For the first time in the United States, however, a group of Coloradans are connecting listeners with a community that has long been ignored in that process: incarcerated people.

Last week, men and women from Denver Women’s, Limon, and Sterling correctional facilities debuted Inside Wire: Colorado Prison Radio, the first prison radio station in the country available to the public. The daily, 24-hour broadcast features a mix of programming—including music shows, interviews, and narrative storytelling—which is centered around the voices of Colorado inmates and aims to better share the perspectives of those inside. The station is the latest project from the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI), a program founded in 2017 to provide therapeutic and creative outlets for inmates that empower them and foster healthy community.

“I’m looking forward to shining a light on the humanity that does exist within prisons for the outside — for society — [and] changing the narrative from within and out,” says Antonio Stancil, one of the station’s producers from Sterling Correctional Facility. “[We’re] a part of something monumental being able to inform fellow inmates of stuff that a lot of them wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for a statewide/nationwide radio station that they could tune in to.”

Inside Wire will be broadcast to more than 14,000 listeners across all Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) facilities via a closed-circuit TV system. The public can listen on the Colorado Prison Radio website or Inside Wire app.
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Madi Skahill – Madi oversees social media strategy for 5280’s and 5280 Home’s accounts, as well as writes and edits stories for 5280.com.

[Thanks to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article!]

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