Before coming to WBEZ, Jesse was an independent writer and radio producer based in Virginia.
He worked with the public radio program Backstory and occasionally led student trips to Tanzania for the University of Virginia as well as hiking, kayaking, and canoeing trips in Maine.
Stories by Jesse Dukes
There was a time Chicago gave New York a run for its money. So how did we end up as the Second City?
Folk singer Steve Goodman grew up going to Cubs games, and this diehard fan had a lifelong goal—to write a hit song about baseball.
Prisons helped rural towns, while Black communities in Chicago paid a heavy price. Now, rumors swirl that parts of Pontiac prison may close.
In the 1980s Illinois leaders held a competition, where rural towns competed to “win” prisons and the jobs that come with them.
Two Illinois prison guards were tried for beating Larry Earvin to death. We try to make sense of the trial and what it says about prisons.
A man goes into prison with a 7 year sentence. But ends up getting 97 more years. How does that happen? And what do small town politics have to do with it?
State investigators interrogate a high-ranking prison guard, who is accused of coordinating attacks on prisoners.
Two Black women took mental health jobs at one of Illinois’ toughest prisons. What happened when they reported what they saw behind the wall.
Men in an Illinois prison said they were beaten in a spot with no security cameras. But no one took action, until someone died.
Small towns. Big walls. A good place to hide things. Stories and scandals from prisons in rural America.