With new episode, Supervision Podcast Sheds Further Light On One Man’s Post-Prison Journey
New Hampshire Public Radio’s Supervision podcast tells the deeply personal story of a New Hampshire man who tries to get his life back on track after a stint in a state correctional facility. First released in May 2019, the four-episode podcast delved into the sometimes challenging journey that follows incarceration, as former inmates try to navigate new lives, find housing and work, and re-set personal relationships. New information around the original story prompted the Supervision editorial team to take another look at the story. Coming Tuesday, April 13, a new episode of the podcast will expand upon some details of the original reporting and reveal further insights about the subject of post-incarceration life and how one man’s journey ultimately turned out.
Former NHPR Reporter Emily Corwin, now a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University, began work on this story in the spring of 2017. She interviewed Josh Lavenets while he was still incarcerated at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin – speaking with him about his life in prison, and his hopes for life after release. Through five months of immersive reporting with Josh, his family and his friends, she witnessed his attempts to find a job and decide where to live. She saw him face a sudden medical emergency. Ultimately, she also bore witness to how things would turn out for him in unexpected ways.
With the release of the four initial episodes in 2019, Emily and the program’s producers thought the reporting was finished, only to find two years later that there was more to discover. A listener led Emily to new information which she had not had access to previously. With these additional findings, she realized the original story was incomplete, with more to be told.
“We got access to new records, which led us to additional interviews, and it just became increasingly clear that Josh’s story was about a lot more than we had initially understood,” said Corwin. “We set out in 2017 to understand what it was about parole that made it so hard for men like Josh to stay out of prison. What we learned after releasing the podcast helped us see that the challenges people face as they leave prison are more complicated and more dire than we had imagined.”
The new information led to a new fifth episode; it also shifted the lens of the entire series. A story that was initially about why a man would thrive or fail on parole turned into something much bigger: a story about survival, and just how hard it can be for a reporter to get to the truth. Listeners can learn more about how the editorial team approached this new information and the decisions and new reporting it yielded, through this note from the editors.
The new reporting that went into Supervision is part of the work of NHPR’s Document team, which is where listeners can find long form narrative storytelling, and enterprise and investigative podcasts from NHPR.
Corwin left New Hampshire in 2017 for a position with Vermont Public Radio. But she retained a keen interest in Josh’s story, working remotely on the podcast for more than two years with editors and producers back at NHPR. She has spent a decade reporting on crime, punishment and equity in the legal system in New England. Her investigations have won National and Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and made her a finalist for two Livingston Awards and an IRE Award. Corwin lives in Burlington, Vermont with her wife and dog.
Corwin added: “I am so very grateful to NHPR for enabling me to tell this man’s difficult story as honestly and fully as possible, even after I was no longer on staff.”
WHERE TO FIND SUPERVISION:
Listeners can hear the series by subscribing to Supervision on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever they access podcasts. The fifth episode will be released on Tuesday, April 13 across all platforms.
Listen to the trailer: nhpr.org/topic/document
Social Media: Twitter - @nhprdocument
Portions of the Supervision podcast will also air on New Hampshire Public Radio on three consecutive Sundays in April and May, in the time slot usually occupied by Reveal.
- Sunday, April 18, at 3 p.m.
- Sunday, April 25, at 3 p.m.
- Sunday, May 2, at 3 p.m.
Also, tune in to NHPR during All Things Considered on Friday afternoons, 4 to 6:30 p.m. for short feature pieces from Supervision. The features will air on three consecutive Fridays - April 16, 23 and 30 - leading up to the full hour Sunday broadcasts.
Since 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of 152,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage and enlightening programming. Thousands more view NHPR.org, follow our social media sites, stream our service online, or listen to our podcasts. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally produced programs and podcasts include The Exchange, The Folk Show, Outside/In, and Civics 101, among others. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life. Visit nhpr.org to access our news and information.