Meet The UNCUFFED
Outside Team

Uncuffed is recorded, edited, and hosted by people in California prisons.

KALW Staff

Anthony Ivy

Associate Producer
Bio coming soon.

Eric Abercrombie

Sound Designer
Eric "Maserati-E" Abercrombie was born in Oakland, CA. He is a musician, producer, facilitator, activist, and co-host of The Last Mile Radio on Sirius XM. He learned sound design and film while incarcerated, and was featured in the Uncuffed episode "Maserati E" and the Emmy nominated Documentary “Q-Ball.” Eric shows the world how people are not defined by their past or current conditions, and gives a glimpse of what can be accomplished when people are afforded the opportunity. Eric plans to change the world by changing the way we view the world.

Chirae "Chi" Cannon

CIW Program Coordinator and Teaching Fellow
Chirae Cannon is a system-impacted screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, and producer from Richmond, CA. She experienced incarceration intermittently from the age of 12 to 23, as well as the incarceration of several family members. As a filmmaker and storyteller, she focuses on themes of identity and the quest for freedom, inviting audiences to challenge and transcend conventional societal boundaries. She also brings a background in teaching at Independent Living Program Oakland and Mindful Messages. Chirae combines entertainment with education, engaging audiences deeply and showcasing her passion for stories that provoke thought and inspire change.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

Senior Editor, San Quentin Lead Teacher
Ninna has worked in audio for over a decade as an award-winning reporter, producer, editor and educator. She has been working with KALW's prison programming since 2016. Her work has appeared on 99% Invisible, Matter, NPR, Snap Judgement, WIRED, Patagonia, and more. She has taught audio production to students from middle school to graduate school, and has spoken at conferences across the globe. Ninna is Bay Area born and raised and still lives in San Francisco today.

Oliver Gomez

DJ Teacher for Uncuffed
I grew up in Thousand Oaks, California. I got into DJ’ing when I was young and now I do it professionally. I previously worked as an after school program leader and youth soccer coach at schools in the Bay Area. I love to learn and teach what I know. Radio has always been a main influence in my life when it comes to music, so it feels great to give back and work with a local station.

Angela Johnston

Senior Producer, San Quentin Teacher
Angela Johnston is the Senior Producer of Uncuffed. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism and graduated from KALW’s Audio Academy program. She’s worked for KALW Public Radio in numerous roles - from the deputy news director, to the health and environment reporter. She's covered everything from lead poisoning to climate change, and her work has aired on KALW, KQED, Reveal, and The Pulse. She also freelances as a producer and editor for Cosmic Standard and AFAR Media. Angela is an accomplished editor and teacher, and has taught audio journalism classes at San Quentin State Prison. Outside of work, she loves to swim in the bay, surf small waves on her longboard, read, backpack, cook, and garden.

Kelly McEvers

CIW Lead Teacher
Kelly McEvers is a two-time Peabody Award winning journalist and former host of NPR’s flagship news magazine, All Things Considered. She is the creator and host of NPR’s award- winning Embedded podcast. She is also a long-time instructor, teacher, trainer, and mentor in the field of audio storytelling, most recently as an adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She spent much of her career as an international correspondent, reporting from Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East. She has reported for This American Life, the BBC, Marketplace, and The World. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate. She began her career at the Chicago Tribune.

Kathy Novak

Uncuffed Solano Lead Teacher
Kathy Novak is a journalist based in San Francisco.  She was a foreign correspondent for television news outlets including CNN International and Al Jazeera English. Originally from Australia, she worked as a reporter and anchor for the Australian public broadcaster, SBS. Most recently, Kathy reported for KCBS Radio in the Bay Area, where she covered stories of incarcerated communities from inside and outside California prisons.

Sonia Paul

Solano State Prison Teacher
Sonia Paul joined Uncuffed in 2021 as a teacher at Solano State Prison. As an award-winning independent journalist, writer and producer, she specializes in investigating how power hierarchies and transnational issues impact state systems and individual and community identity. Her stories have been published widely, in outlets like WIRED, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, Harper’s, National Geographic, NPR, 70 Million and the BBC World Service. Previously, she freelanced in India and created a grant-funded, community-based podcast series while teaching in Japan. She is a Bay Area native and loves ice cream.

Eli Wirtschafter

Uncuffed Program Director
Eli Wirtschafter is an award-winning radio producer, editor, reporter, teacher, and musician. He first visited a prison in 2016, as a violinist for Jewish services at San Quentin. A graduate of KALW's Audio Academy, Eli was a KALW editor and transportation reporter before teaching with Uncuffed at Solano State Prison and leading the launch of the Uncuffed podcast. Eli grew up in the East Bay and now lives in Los Angeles.

Maria Yates

Uncuffed Playlist Lead Teacher
Maria [muh-RYE-uh] Yates began her DJ career at WCRD Muncie while earning a degree in sound engineering and composition. Today you can find her DJing on KALW San Francisco and KALX Berkeley. Maria has served as KALX news director, program review chair and is currently special events director. She brings this experience and her background in grassroots harm reduction to the Uncuffed Playlist DJ class at Solano State Prison.

Advisory Board

Hakim Owen
Communications
Monica Hicks
Advisory Board Member
Thanh Tran
Advisory Board Member
Betty McKay
Advisory Board Member
Danny Murillo
Advisory Board Member

Past Board Members

Isiah Daniels

Manuel Gomez

Kenneth E. Hartman

Joe Loya

Anthony Robinson, Jr.

Sandy "Rasheed" Stanley-Lockheart

Special Thanks

Theme Music: David Jassy
Logo Design: Ajuan Mance
Web Development: Isaiah Love and De’jon Joy at DZ9 Systems
San Quentin Rehabilitation Center: Warden Broomfield, Mr. Brown, Lt. Berry, and Sgt. Gardea
California State Prison Solano: Mr. McCann, Mr. Gen, Lt. Guerrero, Warden Matteson, Ms. Nessi, Ms. Rice, Mr. Vandeventer
Division of Rehabilitative Programs: Mr. Choate
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The Uncuffed podcast is a showcase for personal stories and deep roundtable conversations with the incarcerated Uncuffed producers.