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: Written Off
“Untitled.” Written by Jimmy Wu. Performed by Randall Park. Jimmy runs the organization that saved his life years ago when he was a youth who felt lost in the system: InsideOUT Writers. Today, he’s confronting the pain and effects of his incarceration while still managing to set an example for his InsideOUT Writers family. “If I was never introduced to this outlet through writing, I wouldn’t be here.” - Jimmy Wu. More episodes are available at http://link.chtbl.com/writtenoff
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
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.
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.
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.
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.