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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kentucky Radio Links Prisoners To Loved Ones

Sylvia Ryerson answers and archives messages for the program "Calls from Home" at WMMT. (WMMT)

Sylvia Ryerson answers and archives messages for the program “Calls from Home” at WMMT. (WMMT)

The community radio station WMMT 88.7 in Whitesburg, Kentucky, takes pride in airing the only hip hop show in central Appalachia — but many listeners tune in for much more than the music.

On Monday nights, the phones at WMMT ring off the hook, as families and friends call to leave messages for inmates at nearby high-security prisons.

Each week, the station dedicates an hour to airing those messages for prisoners the family and friends otherwise can’t reach — either due to the expense of the calls or because the inmate’s calls are limited. Prisoners buy and share radios to hear the program.

Calls from Home” has been a weekly installment at WMMT for more than 10 years. Sylvia Ryerson answers and archives messages for the program and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the program and share some messages.

Video about 'Calls from Home' by Field Studio


  • Sylvia Ryerson, answers and archives messages from the “Calls from Home” program at WMMT, where she’s known on-air as DJ “Sly Rye.”

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