At the age of 20, Lady Unchained went to prison. She didn’t believe she was the type of person who would ever do that. She went to church, was about to launch her own business and had no former convictions, but one day everything changed. She spent eleven months behind bars and five months tagged. Inside, she faced systemic racism and had to adapt to survive. It changed her, and leaving prison, she realised she was facing an uphill battle in changing people’s perceptions. Here, she shares her gripping account of her story leading up to, during and after her prison sentence.
Since her release, Lady Unchained has made it her mission to become an advocate for life after prison - a poet, performer, award winning broadcaster and now author with her new book ‘Behind Bars: On punishment, prison & release’. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Unchained Poetry, an artistic platform for artists with lived experience of the Criminal Justice System and runs poetry workshops in prisons and in Women Centres.
This is an inspiring and moving conversation. It will make you think, perhaps even change you.
Content warning: references to suicide and racist abuse.
Should you be affected by any of the issues raised in this episode, in the UK, The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Hotlines in other countries can be found here http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
You can buy Lady Unchained’s book Behind Bars: On punishment, prison & release here:
Changes is now a deaf friendly podcast. You can access transcripts here: https://www.anniemacmanus.com/changes
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