56 episodes

The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate.

The podcast tells the hidden stories from behind bars.

Paula Harriott is Head of Prisoner Engagement for the Prison Reform Trust. She spent time behind bars and now works to help those who have been to prison to contribute to the debate around crime and justice.

Phil Maguire is the Chief Executive of the Prison Radio Association. He's worked in prisons for almost two decades and received an OBE for services to radio.

The Secret Life of Prisons podcast Prison Radio Association

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 42 Ratings

The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate.

The podcast tells the hidden stories from behind bars.

Paula Harriott is Head of Prisoner Engagement for the Prison Reform Trust. She spent time behind bars and now works to help those who have been to prison to contribute to the debate around crime and justice.

Phil Maguire is the Chief Executive of the Prison Radio Association. He's worked in prisons for almost two decades and received an OBE for services to radio.

    James Phillips: National Prison Radio's Rock Show legend | Ollie Brookes and Scout Tzofiya Bolton

    James Phillips: National Prison Radio's Rock Show legend | Ollie Brookes and Scout Tzofiya Bolton

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    James Phillips was in prison in 2014 when he first heard National Prison Radio's Rock Show. He decided he was going to become its next host, and managed to get a transfer to the prison where the show was based.
    Fast forward 10 years, he had been released from prison, joined the Prison Radio Association's staff team, and his show had become the most inventive, innovative, riotous music show on any radio station, anywhere. He won Gold for Best New Presenter at the ARIAS – the Radio Academy Awards, which are the radio industry's 'Oscars'.
    Last year James received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. 
    In true Rock Show spirit, James took his listeners, the Rock Show Family, on the journey with him. That journey came to an end in May 2024.
    To remember James, and to introduce the uninitiated to the joys of National Prison Radio’s Rock Show, and the magic that James would create using nothing but sound and the spirit of rock music, Phil and Paula are joined by Ollie Brookes (the producer of the Rock Show) and Scout Tsofiya Bolton (a paid-up member of the Rock Show Family while she was in prison).
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 33 min
    Five pieces of advice for the next government | Andi Brierley

    Five pieces of advice for the next government | Andi Brierley

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    As we approach the next general election, the Secret Life of Prisons is bringing you guests who have knowledge and insight about the role criminal justice plays in politics as the major players fight for our votes.
    We've asked this week's guest to come up with five pieces of advice for the next government to improve our justice system.
    Andi Brierley is an author and educator. He was the editor of last year's book, The Good Prison Officer. He spent several years in prison as a young person, serving time for offences fuelled by a drug addiction. Today he teaches at Leeds Trinity University and he trains prison officers through the Unlocked Graduates programme.
    Find out more about Unlocked Graduates here.
    The Good Prison Officer
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 45 min
    Being released homeless | Michael Sloane and Matt Gannon

    Being released homeless | Michael Sloane and Matt Gannon

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    If you have been to prison you are fourty times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population. 
    Michael Sloane spent three decades in and out of prison, addiction and homelessness. He was once given a tent to live in on release from prison. He now studies politics at Ruskin College in Oxford.
    Matt Gannon is from the Centre for Homelessness Impact, a charity that uses data to understand the factors that lead to homelessness and improve the lives of those who are most at risk.
    Find out more about The Centre for Homelessness Impact
    You can read the report Prison Discharge and Homelessness here.
    You can read The Ballad of Rochester Jail by M A Sloane here. 
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 32 min
    Five things to look out for at the general election | Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General

    Five things to look out for at the general election | Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    As we approach the next general election, the Secret Life of Prisons is bringing you guests who have knowledge and insight into politics and the role criminal justice is likely to play as the major players fight for our votes.
    We're asking each guest to identify five things we should all be looking out for as the political campaigning ramps up.
    Dominic Grieve was the MP for Beaconsfield. He was Shadow Justice Secretary in the years before the 2010 general election, and was appointed Attorney General under David Cameron. 
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 43 min
    From prison to law school | Chris Walters and Peter Stanford

    From prison to law school | Chris Walters and Peter Stanford

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    Despite having lots of time to spare during a sentence, people in prison face very many barriers to pursuing education, and particularly further education. Some people manage to overcome these barriers, and the Longford Trust is a key source of support.
    In 2011 Chris Walters was arrested in Taiwan for a drugs offence. After seven years on bail, Chris received a prison sentence and was flown to the UK to serve out his sentence. His remarkable story brought him into contact with the Longford Trust. He now works on their fundraising team, and he's completing a law degree at the University of Edinburgh. 
    Peter Stanford is the Director of the Longford Trust, who provide grants and mentorships to people in prison and after release to pursue higher education.
    https://www.longfordtrust.org
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 43 min
    The economics of prison | Grace Blakeley and Vicky Pryce

    The economics of prison | Grace Blakeley and Vicky Pryce

    The Secret Life of Prisons is produced by a charity, the Prison Radio Association. To make a donation please visit prison.radio/donate. 
    --
    In the March 2024 budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said the government will seek to "prioritise proposals that deliver annual savings within five years". What does this mean for prisons and the criminal justice system, having to deal with rising numbers and facing increasingly complex challenges?
    Grace Blakeley is a journalist and author. She previously sat on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum which is responsible for policy development. Before that she worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research.
    Grace Blakeley's new book Vulture Capitalism is available here.
    Vicky Pryce was a civil service economist and is now Chief Economic Advisor for the Centre for Economics and Business Research. She’s a visiting professor at Birmingham City University and at King’s College London. Vicky served a prison sentence in 2013, where she saw first-hand how the prison system works, and she is now a Trustee of the charity Women in Prison and also Patron of the charity Working Chance, which is the UK’s only employment charity solely for women with convictions.
    Presenters:
    Phil Maguire – Chief Executive, Prison Radio Association
    Paula Harriott – Head of Prisoner Engagement, Prison Reform Trust
    Producer: Andrew Wilkie
    The Prison Radio Association runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for people serving prison sentences. We employ people in prison to develop their skills, find their best voices and help them discover ways to lead crime-free lives after release.
    Registered Charity in England & Wales 1114760

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Jarmbabe ,

Riveting

I discovered this podcast following the recommendation of another podcast I listen to- Ear Hustle and I’m glad I did. I appreciate the honesty of the hosts and guests as they share their stories. I was especially drawn to the podcast which featured the young woman and her mother as they talked about their visits. Sadly, the families of prisoners are often forgotten and the struggles they face are great. Mr. G’s poems are spot in!!! That man has a way with words!!!

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