11 episodes

Life Jolt — prison slang for a life sentence — examines the lives of women navigating Canada’s correctional system. Our team gained unprecedented access to the Grand Valley Institution prison — the federal pen for women in Ontario — for a full year. We followed women going into prison for the first time, spoke with lifers who have been there for years, and parolees as they left. Hosted by Rosemary Green, a former inmate herself, Life Jolt focuses on individual women’s stories and the realities of prison life, and explores a wide range of issues including parenting behind bars, segregation, the over-representation of Indigenous women, addiction, trauma and the many obstacles of reintegration.

Life Jolt CBC STORIES

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 320 Ratings

Life Jolt — prison slang for a life sentence — examines the lives of women navigating Canada’s correctional system. Our team gained unprecedented access to the Grand Valley Institution prison — the federal pen for women in Ontario — for a full year. We followed women going into prison for the first time, spoke with lifers who have been there for years, and parolees as they left. Hosted by Rosemary Green, a former inmate herself, Life Jolt focuses on individual women’s stories and the realities of prison life, and explores a wide range of issues including parenting behind bars, segregation, the over-representation of Indigenous women, addiction, trauma and the many obstacles of reintegration.

    Introducing: Ear Hustle

    Introducing: Ear Hustle

    Leslie has served more time in prison than anyone ever interviewed on Ear Hustle: over half a century, for a crime committed when she was 19. Four times, the parole board has deemed her fit for release. Each time, California’s governor denied it. What does it mean to live a meaningful life when nearly all of it is spent behind bars? More episodes of Ear Hustle are available at https://www.earhustlesq.com/listen

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Episode 9: Legacy

    Episode 9: Legacy

    Prison isn’t just painful for the person sent away. Rosemary left four children behind when she was locked up. She sits down with her two oldest twins for a difficult conversation about what her incarceration and absence was like for them. They talk about the challenges of being together after Rosemary’s release and learning to trust that she wasn’t going to leave them again.

    • 30 min
    Episode 8 : Surviving the Hole

    Episode 8 : Surviving the Hole

    The hole, the shoe, segregation. Whatever you call it, many human rights advocates consider solitary confinement a form of torture. Rosemary recounts her experience in solitary – what she describes as the most difficult moments of her life, and how the experience haunts her to this day.

    • 24 min
    Episode 7: The After Times, Part 2

    Episode 7: The After Times, Part 2

    Hard reality begins to set in for Diana as her home life starts to crumble. Mary’s hopes for freedom are derailed by her struggles with addiction.

    • 38 min
    Episode 6: The After Times, Part 1

    Episode 6: The After Times, Part 1

    Surviving a prison sentence is only half the battle. Getting out - and staying out - can be just as tough. Emily was a successful entrepreneur before she became a drug mule. Now that she’s out, she’s ready to start over with a new prison-inspired venture, but first she has to tackle her relationships with drugs, alcohol and men. Diana faces the challenge of healing her marriage and her family.

    • 38 min
    Episode 5: Inside and Indigenous

    Episode 5: Inside and Indigenous

    Indigenous people account for five percent of Canada’s population, yet Indigenous inmates make up 30 percent of the country’s federal prison system. For Indigenous women, the number jumps up 42%. We share the stories of Chance and Alison, whose experiences illustrate how decades of intergenerational trauma lead people to prison. And how for Indigenous offenders, finding a connection to their heritage is what may ultimately set them free.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
320 Ratings

320 Ratings

ve3epi ,

easy way to hear very challenging voices

i haven’t heard these perspectives anywhere but work …. i really appreciate the interviewing style and there’s nowhere else to hear these voices

Bonnie Vancouver ,

Life Jolt

Incredible podcast. A must listen.

Dani staub ,

Heartbreaking and Human storytelling

Thank you Rosemary and the rest of the women for being brave enough to share your stories. My heart is with you all.

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