Five months of immersive reporting has produced a four-hour limited-run series by New Hampshire Public Radio that examines the transition from life in prison to what happens once a convict is on parole. Reporter Emily Corwin began work on the story that became the podcast Supervision in the spring of 2017. That’s when she first interviewed Josh Lavenets while he was still incarcerated at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin, NH. In that first conversation she talked with him about life in prison and how he hoped his life would change after leaving prison. Corwin spent five months speaking with Lavenets, his family and friends, and tracking how he made the transition back to life on the outside. That included his efforts to find a job and dealing with a medical emergency.
“Roughly half of people who get out of prison on parole in New Hampshire end up back behind bars within three years,” said Corwin. “That is the statistic I was trying to understand when Josh and I began talking. What happened after Josh got out of prison —neither of us could have anticipated.”
Corwin, who now works with Vermont Public Radio, worked on the podcast for more than two years with editors and producers back at NHPR, retaining an interest in the story after she had left New Hampshire.
“Through this intimate portrait of one man’s hopes and realities, we get a glimpse of a crucial but unexamined piece of the criminal justice system: parole,” said Dan Barrick, News Director at New Hampshire Public Radio. “We are grateful that Emily continued to work on this series as part of a collaborative effort between NHPR and Vermont Public Radio to bring this story to listeners in both states and beyond.”
All four episodes in the series were released simultaneously on June 5. Portions of the Supervision podcast will also air on New Hampshire Public Radio the week of June 24, in the 6:30pm time slot usually occupied by a replay of the New York Times’ podcast The Daily.