Public radio launches new investigative podcast

By Tom Michael

As part of its work with the Mountain West News Bureau, Boise State Public Radio has launched LOCKED, a limited-series podcast about a transgender inmate who is suing the state of Idaho for sex reassignment surgery. 

It looks at the case of Adree Edmo, which is now being weighed before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If Edmo wins, she’ll be the first inmate to receive surgery through court order, and that could create ripple effects in prisons across the west and potentially the nation. 

The investigative podcast explores the complicated backstory of Edmo, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who was sent to prison for up to ten years for sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy when she was 22. It also explains gender dysphoria — distress from a person’s outward appearance not aligning with their own gender identity.  

The story describes the experience of transgender inmates and how they’re treated in prisons, and explains the science and procedure of gender confirmation surgery. And finally, the podcast explains Edmo’s legal case and the public controversy surrounding it. Edmo argues that denying her the surgery is cruel and unusual punishment, but the state and its health provider say she doesn’t need it. 

The podcast is hosted by Amanda Peacher, who this summer won a national Edward R. Murrow award for her work with the regional bureau.

“We’re at a critical moment both for our criminal justice system and for transgender rights,” Peacher said. “This case is at the crux of both those issues. That’s why we thought this was an important and timely story to tell.” 

The podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Tom Michael is the general manager of Boise State Public Radio, and is a board member of the Idaho Press Club.