Partner Resources StoryCorps Justice Project

Through the Justice Project, StoryCorps preserves and amplifies the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. These first-person stories are available free of use to our partners and partners in the Safety and Justice Project Network for posting on your channels, to help us share and amplify these voices locally and nationwide. Unauthorized use of these materials is prohibited.

Support for StoryCorps Justice Project:


All photos, audio and copy are available for use by Justice Project partners and partners in the Safety & Justice Project Challenge Network.

  • DOWNLOAD photos, copy, animated gifs and more. These materials are available to use at any time; they do not have an expiration date. 
  • READ StoryCorps’ guide for partners, which includes stories and summaries tailored for use on social media.
  • SHARE stories from StoryCorps. Starting May 2, StoryCorps will release a new story each day. Follow StoryCorps on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For support or technical assistance, please contact:

Kyle Brazzel, Manager, Content Distribution & Media Partnerships
kbrazzel@storycorps.org

Tips for use:

  • Each package contains a participant photo, original illustration, and animated gif file.
  • To access images, click on the image to open in a new window. Then, right-click to download the image to your desktop.
  • In social media posts, please tag @StoryCorps so we can see your use of these multimedia materials.

For questions about partnering with StoryCorps, please contact:

Tanya Linn Albrigtsen-Frable, Manager, StoryCorps Justice Project
justiceproject@storycorps.org


Born Blackwell & Jamal Faison

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"I remember feeling this tremendous weight of fear of what my life would be like."
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Animation: Access animation and YouTube embed copy information here.

Short description: Jamal Faison, in conversation with his uncle Born Blackwell, remembers the night he was released from Rikers, and discusses how their relationship supported Jamal through the conditions of his incarceration.

Facebook: On a September morning in 2012, Jamal Faison was dropped off alone on a Queens street corner to begin rebuilding his life after several months on Rikers Island in New York City. The first person he sought out for support was his uncle, Born Blackwell.

Listen as the two men discuss their bond and the realities of life post-incarceration, and watch here for more stories from the @StoryCorps Justice Project, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, #ReThinkJails, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

Twitter: “My criminal record is written all over me.” The post-Rikers effect, via @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails http://bit.ly/2pyS23p

Instagram “I didn’t realize what was going to be the fallout from this.” When Jamal Faison was released from Rikers Island, he feared the damage to his life was irreversible. His uncle, Born Blackwell, helped him see a way to rebuild. The @StoryCorps Justice Project collects voices like these, for a better understanding of incarceration’s effects. Listen at the link in our bio. http://bit.ly/2pyS23p


Rob Sanchez & Fred Davie

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"I think I survived it by always having hope."
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Rob Sanchez, a social worker, in conversation with Fred Davie, a long-time mentor and friend, who provided spiritual support to Rob after he was released from 15 years of incarceration.

Facebook: A minister in training and a nonviolent drug offender on a 15-year sentence. That’s how Fred Davie and Robert Sanchez first came to know each other, in an education room at Sing Sing. Now a social worker, Robert asked Fred to join him in conversation to reflect on the sense of hope their relationship provided during his incarceration—hope he still draws on today when his past leaves him feeling marginalized from the world. Listen: http://bit.ly/2gKX22R

The voices of Davie and Sanchez join the @StoryCorps Justice Project, illustrated oral histories building a better understanding of the incarceration experience.

Twitter: “Even an iota of light can go a long way.” Sing Sing’s long shadow, via @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails http://bit.ly/2gKX22R

Instagram “I think I survived it by always having hope.” After 15 years in Sing Sing, Robert Sanchez is a hope-giver to others, leaning on the teachings of Fred Davie. The men met during Robert’s incarceration, and reflected on their relationship as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. Listen to their story at the link in our bio. http://bit.ly/2gKX22R


Jane Fuentes & Luis Fuentes

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"I live paycheck to paycheck. And if I don’t pay my fines, then I go to jail."
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Jayne Fuentes talks with her son, Luis, about how personal debt and addiction contributed to her incarceration, and the ways in which his financial and emotional support made her release possible. http://bit.ly/2qxtA1q

Facebook: In addition to the emotional residue of a prison term, court fines and fees can cast a long shadow on the formerly incarcerated, one they often have difficulty stepping out from under. At @StoryCorps Jayne Fuentes sat down with her son, Luis, to talk about the additional challenges her financial responsibilities add to her work rebuilding her life.

Stories like Jayne’s come alive via the StoryCorps Justice Project, illustrated oral histories presenting lives reclaimed after incarceration.

Twitter: “I live paycheck to paycheck…if I don’t pay my fines, I go to jail.” @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails http://bit.ly/2qxtA1q

Instagram “I worry every day that I’m going to get a warrant because I can’t pay my fines.” For Jayne Fuentes, her incarceration history is harder to put behind her because of the thousands of dollars she still owes the courts in fees and fines, draining her hard-won post-prison income. She talked to her son Luis as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. Listen at the link in our bio. http://bit.ly/2qxtA1q


Asad Kerr-Giles & April Kerr

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“What were the first few days like in jail?”
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Asad Giles and his mom, April Kerr, talk about his time in jail before he was acquitted and released from Rikers Island in New York City.

Facebook: Asad Giles was a college-bound high-school senior when, in 2012, he left a party and overheard gunshots. He was picked up by police, and charged with the shooting. Twenty-eight months later, desensitized to violence by his confinement on Rikers Island, he finally faced a judge and won acquittal. He spoke about his time in jail with his mother, April Kerr, as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project: http://bit.ly/2p2t7nu

Twitter: “They left a mark that’s not your mark.” Exonerated but not free, via @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails http://bit.ly/2p2t7nu

Instagram “I can see by the way you move a little bit, still kind of like institutionalized, in some way.” April Kerr’s son, Asad Giles, spent 28 months wrongfully imprisoned on Rikers Island for a shooting he overheard but played no role in. The mother and son talk about the letters that sustained him in prison, and what they feel was taken from him besides time. Listen to their story at the link in our bio. Recorded as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. Link for bio: http://bit.ly/2p2t7nu


Savannah Phelan & Kellie Phelan

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"What was it like to be pregnant with me in jail?"
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Savannah Phelan, 8, and her mom, Kellie Phelan, sat down for one of the first times to talk about Savannah’s birth, and how she feels after learning that her mother had been in jail at the time.

Facebook: “There were other mommies and daddies seeing their babies, and here I was in this big orange jumpsuit and shackles.”
Seven months pregnant and newly convicted on a drug-possession misdemeanor, Kellie Phelan arrived at Rikers Island gripped by the fears all new mothers face, and ones unique to her. Listen as Kellie and her daughter, Savannah, talk about the unique circumstances of Savannah’s birth and their unconditional love, via the @StoryCorps Justice Project: http://bit.ly/2aBYRgX

Twitter: “What was it like to be pregnant with me in jail?” Voices of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails http://bit.ly/2aBYRgX

Instagram “There were other mommies and daddies seeing their babies, and here I was in this big orange jumpsuit and shackles.” Kellie Phelan and her daughter Savannah revisit a fact of life for many incarcerated women: childbirth during a jail term. Listen to their story, recorded as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project, at the link in our bio. Link for bio: http://bit.ly/2aBYRgX


Miguel Delgado & Jack Russell

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"When you don’t want to be somewhere, you embrace that, so you don’t go back there."
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Jack Russell grew up in and out of foster care in New York City and spent time in jail and prison for attempted robbery. Here, he talks with his friend, Miguel Delgado, about his childhood and what led to his incarceration.

Facebook: Jack Russell grew up in Harlem, with an abusive stepfather. Now 25 years old, he discussed his turbulent youth, his incarceration, and the ways he’s learned to break old patterns with his friend Miguel Delgado.

Their conversation is part of the StoryCorps Justice Project, illustrated oral histories building a better understanding of the incarceration experience. Listen here: bit.ly/2qSX5M8

Twitter: “Where I’m comfortable at I should not be comfortable.” The @StoryCorps Justice Project helps #RethinkJails. Listen: bit.ly/2qSX5M8

Instagram “I learned when you don’t want to be somewhere, you embrace that, so you don’t go back there.” Miguel Delgado and Jack Russell have a conversation about self-awareness and cycle-breaking, as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. Listen at the link in our bio. Link for bio: bit.ly/2qSX5M8


Terry Banies & Darryl Cooke

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"What is it that people who have never been incarcerated before don’t get?"
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Terry Banies met Darryl Cooke when they were students at Governors State University in Illinois, and they connected over their past experiences with incarceration.

Facebook: “What advice would you have for a young man that’s gonna be released today?” When Terry Banies and Darryl Cooke met as students at Illinois’ Governors State University, they were uniquely suited to identify with one another. Both had been incarcerated, and knew well the alarm bells that a criminal-history blank on a job application can sound in the mind of an individual trying to rebuild his life. Listen to their conversation, part of the StoryCorps Justice Project. bit.ly/2pTHvS5

Twitter: “There’s a little box on the application…” The past is never far, via @StoryCorps Justice Project. #ReThinkJails bit.ly/2pTHvS5

Instagram “Every time that I see that box on any application, it’s the sound of the door closing.” Terry Banies and Darryl Cooke discussed the ways their incarcerations haunt them, and how support like they’ve found in one another makes all the difference in rebuilding. Listen to their story at the link in our bio. Recorded as part of the @StoryCorps Justice Project. Link for bio: bit.ly/2pTHvS5


Tyree Hicks & Jamel Massey

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"One of the greatest tools that I learned is that I have the ability to truly change someone’s life."
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Audio: Access audio file here.

Short description: Jamel Massey and Tyree Hicks met at the Institute for Transformative Mentoring at The New School in New York City. They were both first arrested when they were teenagers and spent time in jail and prison. Jamel tells Tyree about the mentor he met while in prison who helped him transform his life.

Facebook: “Every kid needs somebody to vent to…Untwist that cap and release things.” Young people in the criminal justice system often have trouble finding sympathetic ears. Tyree Hicks and Jamel Massey, each a teen-ager when he was arrested, found a sounding board in one another, via the StoryCorps Justice Project. Listen to their conversation here: bit.ly/2pTEoJG.

Twitter: “You’ve broken the cycle.” Incarcerated as teens, now young men, via the @StoryCorps Justice Project. #RethinkJails bit.ly/2pTEoJG.

Instagram “Every kid needs somebody to vent to…Untwist that cap and release things.” Tyree Hicks and Jamel Massey were teenagers when they entered the criminal justice system. The @StoryCorps Justice Project gave them the opportunity to reflect on the resolve they now carry into young adulthood. Listen at the link in our bio. Link for bio: bit.ly/2pTEoJG.


Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.