The Promise The Promise is a limited-run series about life in public housing, smack in the middle of a city on the rise — stories of a neighborhood in flux, a community defined by its struggles and the growing divide threatening its very existence.
The Promise

The Promise

From WPLN

The Promise is a limited-run series about life in public housing, smack in the middle of a city on the rise — stories of a neighborhood in flux, a community defined by its struggles and the growing divide threatening its very existence.

Most Recent Episodes

Preview: "Making Noise" from WPLN and WNXP

"Making Noise" is a four-part series by WPLN and WNXP about how the music promotion company Lovenoise has changed the music landscape of Nashville. The best way to listen is to subscribe to the WNXP Podcasts feed.

Bonus: How one police chief struggled to change the system

Karl Durr arrived in Rutherford County from Eugene, Oregon, in spring of 2016. He had been hired as the new police chief of Murfreesboro, the county's largest city. As an outsider, there was a chance he would shake some things up. But less than two weeks after he started, while he was still furnishing his office and learning people's names, officers from his department arrested 11 Black school children for not stepping in to stop a fight. When Durr discovers what, and who, is behind the arrests, he takes swift action. But he also makes a political enemy in the process.

Dedicated Public Servants | The Kids of Rutherford County

The lawyers settle with the County, which agrees to pay the kids who were wrongfully arrested and illegally jailed; the hard part is getting the kids paid. Credits: "The Kids of Rutherford County" is a production of Serial, The New York Times, ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio. It was written and reported by Meribah Knight with additional reporting from Ken Armstrong at ProPublica. The show was produced by Daniel Guillemette with additional production by Michelle Navarro. It was edited by Julie Snyder and Jen Guerra. Additional editing by Anita Badejo, Sarah Blustain, Tony Gonzalez, Ken Armstrong and Alex Kotlowitz. The Supervising Producer is Ndeye Thioubou; research and fact checking by Ben Phelan, with additional fact checking by Naomi Sharp. Music supervision, sound design, and mixing by Phoebe Wang. Our Standards Editor is Susan Wessling. Legal review from Dana Green and Al-Amyn Sumar. Original score by The Blasting Company. Additional production from Jenelle Pifer. Mack Miller is the Executive Assistant for Serial. Art by Pablo Delcan. Sam Dolnick is a Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times.

Bonus: Rutherford County is not alone. This youth detention center superintendent in Knoxv...

The Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center has been punishing kids with seclusion more than any other facility in Tennessee. And as the laws and rules on how to treat kids changed, the facility failed to keep up.

Bonus: Rutherford County is not alone. This youth detention center superintendent in Knoxv...

Bonus: Behind the music of The Kids of Rutherford County

"Minimalist classic country with maximalist tendencies." That's one way to describe the musical scoring of The Kids of Rutherford County. In this bonus conversation, Nashville Public Radio's Meribah Knight and Celia Gregory talk about the multi-instrumental composing work of The Blasting Company.

Would You Like to Sue the Government? | The Kids of Rutherford County

Wes Clark reads a telling line in a police report about how Rutherford County's juvenile justice system really works. He and his law partner Mark Downton realize they have a massive class action on their hands. Credits: "The Kids of Rutherford County" is a production of Serial, The New York Times, ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio. It was written and reported by Meribah Knight with additional reporting from Ken Armstrong at ProPublica. The show was produced by Daniel Guillemette with additional production by Michelle Navarro. It was edited by Julie Snyder and Jen Guerra. Additional editing by Anita Badejo, Sarah Blustain, Tony Gonzalez, Ken Armstrong and Alex Kotlowitz. The Supervising Producer is Ndeye Thioubou; research and fact checking by Ben Phelan, with additional fact checking by Naomi Sharp. Music supervision, sound design, and mixing by Phoebe Wang. Our Standards Editor is Susan Wessling. Legal review from Dana Green and Al-Amyn Sumar. Original score by The Blasting Company. Additional production from Jenelle Pifer. Mack Miller is the Executive Assistant for Serial. Art by Pablo Delcan. Sam Dolnick is a Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times.

What the Hell Are You People Doing? | The Kids of Rutherford County

A young lawyer named Wes Clark can't get the Rutherford County juvenile court to let his clients out of detention—even when the law says they shouldn't have been held in the first place. He's frustrated and demoralized, until he makes a friend. Credits: "The Kids of Rutherford County" is a production of Serial, The New York Times, ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio. It was written and reported by Meribah Knight with additional reporting from Ken Armstrong at ProPublica. The show was produced by Daniel Guillemette with additional production by Michelle Navarro. It was edited by Julie Snyder and Jen Guerra. Additional editing by Anita Badejo, Sarah Blustain, Tony Gonzalez, Ken Armstrong and Alex Kotlowitz. The Supervising Producer is Ndeye Thioubou; research and fact checking by Ben Phelan, with additional fact checking by Naomi Sharp. Music supervision, sound design, and mixing by Phoebe Wang. Our Standards Editor is Susan Wessling. Legal review from Dana Green and Al-Amyn Sumar. Original score by The Blasting Company. Additional production from Jenelle Pifer. Mack Miller is the Executive Assistant for Serial. Art by Pablo Delcan. Sam Dolnick is a Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times.

Bonus: Locked up and treated 'like I'm a dog'

Quinterrius Frazier was 15 years old when he was arrested for aggravated robbery and held in the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center. When staff said he was being disruptive — flashing gang signs and rapping, they claimed — he was placed in solitary confinement. It's been almost seven years now, and Quinterrius still feels the effects of being locked up in a cell for 23 hours a day — he has trouble with small spaces, and he needs constant stimulation. Trauma has a way of lingering like that.

The Egregious Video | The Kids of Rutherford County

A police officer in Rutherford County, Tennessee, sees a video of little kids fighting, and decides to investigate. This leads to the arrest of 11 kids for watching the fight. The arrests do not go smoothly. Credits: "The Kids of Rutherford County" is a production of Serial, The New York Times, ProPublica and Nashville Public Radio. It was written and reported by Meribah Knight with additional reporting from Ken Armstrong at ProPublica. The show was produced by Daniel Guillemette with additional production by Michelle Navarro. It was edited by Julie Snyder and Jen Guerra. Additional editing by Anita Badejo, Sarah Blustain, Tony Gonzalez, Ken Armstrong and Alex Kotlowitz. The Supervising Producer is Ndeye Thioubou; research and fact checking by Ben Phelan, with additional fact checking by Naomi Sharp. Music supervision, sound design, and mixing by Phoebe Wang. Our Standards Editor is Susan Wessling. Legal review from Dana Green and Al-Amyn Sumar. Original score by The Blasting Company. Additional production from Jenelle Pifer. Mack Miller is the Executive Assistant for Serial. Art by Pablo Delcan. Sam Dolnick is a Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times.

Coming Soon: The Kids of Rutherford County

A juvenile court in Rutherford County was wrongly arresting and illegally jailing kids for more than a decade before a former juvenile delinquent-turned-lawyer came up with a plan to take it on. This four-part narrative podcast builds on a joint investigation by WPLN Nashville Public Radio and ProPublica and is produced by The New York Times and Serial Productions. "The Kids of Rutherford County" reveals how this system came to be, with particular attention to the adults responsible for it and the two juvenile delinquents-turned-lawyers who try to do something about it. The podcast's host is Meribah Knight, a Peabody Award-winning reporter for Nashville Public Radio who co-reported the original investigation. Listeners can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever podcasts are available. The first two episodes will premiere on Thursday, Oct. 26; parts three and four will air the following two Thursdays.