The Public Wants Stories about Criminal Justice Reform Taking stock of the open-source podcast 70 Million and its impact as season two launches

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There's a demand for coverage of stories that focus on actionable ideas for local criminal justice reform.

We learned so much from our first season. We learned that there's a demand for coverage of stories that focus on actionable ideas for local criminal justice reform. We learned that digital audio is an ideal medium for disseminating these necessary stories. Every smart phone comes preloaded with a podcast app, so accessing 70 Million only requires clicking on an app on your phone. That has made it easy to spread the word and gain listeners, even as a highly focused podcast.

Our format also makes it really easy to share episodes via email, social media, even texts. And that has been a great advantage in a field where personal and peer recommendations are still the leading way people find new shows to listen to. In season two, we expect to have more evidence of these two factors, as our podcast further penetrates into academia, activist circles, and even public policy spheres.

Season one had listeners in 33 countries; and we received nearly 1,000 listens by currently incarcerated people using the Edovo app. Most importantly, our episode listen-through rate falls between 77-81 percent, which is higher than the 60 percent average for podcasting in general.

So the message is clear: people want solutions-oriented story-driven examples of criminal justice reform.

I cannot leave without introducing the tremendous group of people who make up the season two team: Jen Chien, Luis M. Gil, Casey Miner, Mitzi Miller, Kate Krosschell, Adizah Eghan, Cher Vincent, Nissa Rhee, Kenia D. Serrette, Sarah MacClure, Emma Forbes, Eve Abrams, Cheryl Green, Pamela Kirkland, Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Rowan Moore Gerety, Carolina Hidalgo, Jenny Casas, and Sabine Jansen.

If you’d like to learn more about 70 Million and get involved in reforms yourself, we’re proud to offer syllabi, resources, toolkits, and more on our site, We’d love to hear from you: or @LanWilCo. 70 Million is made possible by a grant from the Safety and Justice Challenge at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which also supports the Vera Institute of Justice.