Thanh Tran called me from the phones of San Quentin Prison 9 months ago. In my 21 years of incarceration, I have never met a more policy-minded incarcerated person. I was impressed by his perspectives, his language, and the freedom he held on the inside, not to mention his brilliant accomplishments all before the age of 28!
Episode 48 features Thanh Tran, a formerly incarcerated Filmmaker, Podcaster, and Organizer. He is the Co-Creator and Co-host of the Uncuffed Podcast. He is also Co-Creator of the incarcerated film crew Forward This Productions. He was released from prison almost 3 months ago and is now the Senior Policy and Comms Fellow with the Ella Baker Center.
Thanh was incarcerated at the age of 18. He was sentenced to 17 years. He was commuted by Governor Newsom after serving over 10 years. He survived the horrific conditions of Covid 19 in San Quentin. He had Covid three times and had to scream for medical attention through his door before a nurse finally showed some humanity and got him desperately needed medicine that helped him when he was at his worst. He rang the bell for the fellas on the inside and shared the story of how correctional officers refused to serve the incarcerated food because of their fear of contracting Covid. He shared how he heard the shrieks of men who were dying of Covid in their cells without receiving help for a month. He shared how he saw the dead bodies of those who succumbed to Covid, due to the lack of medical attention at the prison. This is the real trauma that is hidden from the public eye everyday.
We also covered how he transformed his life on the inside to become the podcaster, film producer, organizer, and policy minded man that he is today. Than shares the challenges of reentering society and how he's courageously facing them. I have full confidence that Thanh will lead from the front for prison reform for years to come. Thank you for watching this episode.
Please hit the like button, subscribe, and leave a comment or ask us or Thanh a question in the comments. We respond to everyone!
You can find Thanh Tran on Twitter at @RailroadedUnderground
Learn more about how CROP Organization is reimagining reentry by investing in people over punishment on our website at: https://croporganization.org/
Apply to be in our Ready 4 Life Reentry Programs in Oakland and LA here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdE8zUyZCy2MzL--mnBjYwKgSdr8wZPZvYB5_WlgjnZurfKNA/viewform
Learn more and reach out to The Ella Baker Center at https://ellabakercenter.org/ Ella Baker was a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, Ella Baker Center organizes with black, brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.