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TRAILER: Forgotten Prison, a new podcast about McNeil Island

Forgotten Prison podcast logo
Adrian Florez
/
KNKX

KNKX premiers Forgotten Prison on Jan. 22, a new podcast featuring McNeil Island — the Alcatraz you've never heard of. 

The six-part series, in partnership with the Washington State History Museum, gives listeners an in-depth look at the island located in South Puget Sound, where a now-abandoned prison operated for 136 years. Today, it’s home to the Special Commitment Center, which houses the state’s “sexually violent predators.”

The old prison on McNeil Island as seen from the ferry.
Credit Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX
/
KNKX
The old prison on McNeil Island as seen from the ferry.

Forgotten Prison tells the stories of inmates, guards and children who grew up on the island. Hosts and KNKX reporters Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel explore the history of this forgotten place to learn about how and why we lock people up.

The first episode is available Jan. 22. You can subscribe now on Apple Podcasts and Google Play. The podcast accompanies an exhibit at the state history museum in Tacoma. It's open to the public Jan. 26—May 26.

Forgotten Prison receives financial support from a Humanities Washington grant.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.