26 episodes

With(in) is an award winning podcast committed to shifting the conversation on who is in prison, specifically within the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC). Through meaningful, complex and enlightening conversations with incarcerated people and others in and around the criminal justice system we are committed to revealing our shared humanity across the system.

With(in) is a collaboration between the DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) and the CDOC and is recorded across three correctional facilities in Colorado: Sterling Correctional Facility, Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center and Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. With(in) Season 1 was released in September of 2019 and Season 2 was crafted virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic and was released in September of 2021.

With(in) is co-hosted by Andrew Draper (incarcerated in Sterling Correctional Facility) and Denise Presson (incarcerated in Denver Women’s Correctional Facility). With(in) Season 2 is fully imagined, edited and produced by the With(in) team. All of our recording, editing, sound engineering, music production, art production and poetry comes from inside the Colorado Department of Corrections. Come with us With(in).

With(in‪)‬ DU Prison Arts Initiative and Colorado Department of Corrections

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 94 Ratings

With(in) is an award winning podcast committed to shifting the conversation on who is in prison, specifically within the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC). Through meaningful, complex and enlightening conversations with incarcerated people and others in and around the criminal justice system we are committed to revealing our shared humanity across the system.

With(in) is a collaboration between the DU Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI) and the CDOC and is recorded across three correctional facilities in Colorado: Sterling Correctional Facility, Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center and Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. With(in) Season 1 was released in September of 2019 and Season 2 was crafted virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic and was released in September of 2021.

With(in) is co-hosted by Andrew Draper (incarcerated in Sterling Correctional Facility) and Denise Presson (incarcerated in Denver Women’s Correctional Facility). With(in) Season 2 is fully imagined, edited and produced by the With(in) team. All of our recording, editing, sound engineering, music production, art production and poetry comes from inside the Colorado Department of Corrections. Come with us With(in).

    23: Through the Fire - A Parting Conversation with Dean Williams

    23: Through the Fire - A Parting Conversation with Dean Williams

    Our visionary leader Mr. Dean Williams announced his departure from Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections on November 9, 2022, after four years of impassioned service to thousands of incarcerated people, CDOC staff and our larger Colorado community. The following day, after his announcement, he joined the With(in) team in-person, and virtually, at the new Beacon at Skyline: A Correctional Community for a final, closing interview with our team. In Episode 23 of WIth(in), "Through the Fire", we reflect with Mr. Williams on his four years of leadership and service to CDOC, and on his profound impact on us, and on so many others.

    Mr. Williams, "thank you" will never do it justice. Your commitment to the good, hard work over the past four years, and the years before that that led you to us, has opened new realities and altered so many lives for the better -- all because you answered your calling. From our very first episode of With(in) -- "The Shift" in Summer 2019 -- to this episode -- "Through the Fire" in Winter 2022 (3 1/2 years later) -- know that you have shifted the ground. You have shifted lives. You have shifted the paradigm. You have shifted what is possible. We are forever grateful and forever honored to have served with you, and to continue our work onward.

    You can find Episode 23 of With(in) "Through the Fire - A Parting Conversation with Dean Williams" on thisiswithin.com, Apple podcasts, Spotify and Soundcloud.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    22: The Broken Gavel

    22: The Broken Gavel

    In Eps 22 of With(in), Co-hosts Denise Presson and Andrew Draper ponder the question of sentencing laws, how do we give justice to the victims and also hold space for the humanity of the perpetrators of those crimes with the same hands? Their discussion lands on the fact that cookie-cutter laws only take into account the crime, and not the reason behind the crime, or even the will of those who have been harmed. With(in) Producer Terry W. Mosley Jr. gets to spend some time with John Sherman, a formerly incarcerated man who spent 34 years in prison for murder, and who tells us that he will spend the rest of his life building a legacy for the man who lost his life at his hands. Finally, Dr. Ashley Hamilton, Executive Producer for With(in) and Executive Director of the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative speaks with Kristin Nelson, Director of The Powell project, and a Harvard Law School graduate. Kristin speaks with conviction about current sentencing laws, some of the history of sentencing laws in our country and specifically about life without parole.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    21: Pattycake to Prison

    21: Pattycake to Prison

    In episode 21 of With(in) -- Pattycake to Prison -- we explore what we are calling the pipeline to prison, specifically unpacking the correlation between juvenile detention and adult imprisonment. Ashley Ratliff, a public defense attorney specializing in children at risk of adult prosecution, speaks with Co-host Andrew Draper about the traumatic effects of the juvenile system and the need to intervene by creating holistic criminal and juvenile defense processes. Andrew continues by sitting down with Tenaro Banks, a 33 year old incarcerated man who was imprisoned at the age of 15. He talks about the realization that he never got a chance to know who he was, who he wanted to be before coming to prison and that while he is removed from society, life is all connected and he is a part of that life form. Denise Presson, Co-host of With(in) spends time with Andrew pushing forward the question if children can make complex and “forever” choices about their identity , or even understand the impact of those choices without the time to properly develop and mature.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    20: Still A Citizen

    20: Still A Citizen

    In the 20th episode of With(in) -- Still a Citizen -- co-hosts Denise Presson and Andrew Draper explore what it means to be both a felon and an American citizen. First, Denise interviews Denver Women’s Correctional Facility resident Tiffany McCoy about her inspiration for creating better policy within the Colorado Department of Corrections and using your power as a citizen to make change, no matter where you’re at. Next up, Denise and With(in) music producer Travis Barnes discuss the relationship between community and our government, what it means to be a citizen as an incarcerated person and his journey trying to propose legislation to affect societal change from prison. Andrew also speaks with Colorado State Senator Pete Lee about his intended change to the felony murder law, his views on redemption and the voting rights of convicted felons and people who are released from prison. Denise and Andrew exchange perspectives, acknowledging the civic responsibility we all have as U.S. citizens to heal the harm that has been caused.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    19: The Stone Catcher - A Conversation with Bryan Stevenson

    19: The Stone Catcher - A Conversation with Bryan Stevenson

    Episode 19 of With(in) -- The Stone Catcher -- is a very special episode! In The Stone Catcher we witness a conversation between social justice advocate, lawyer, and author Bryan Stevenson and our incarcerated With(in) and DU Prison Arts Initiative team. Our team is thrilled to have been able to speak to Mr. Stevenson, the author of the best selling "Just Mercy" and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. This very moving, complex and special episode is a conversation with Denise Presson (With(in) Co-Host, incarcerated at Denver Womens), Trevor Jones (DU PAI Group Leader and member of the Juveniles Convicted as Adults Program, incarcerated at Four Mile) and Mr. Stevenson. This powerful conversation delves into how we as a country invest in imprisonment creating a crisis of injustice and inequality, and how there is no path to progress that avoids uncomfortable or inconvenient conversations and actions. Mr. Stevenson describes his journey advocating for basic decency and justice, and proclaims that affirming the humanity and dignity of those that have lost their way is the conduit to overcome our nations ills. Additionally, co-hosts Andrew Draper and Denise Presson discuss the complex ideas revealed in the interview with Mr. Stevenson and how no one should be thrown away, calling for a further conversation to be held about the impact of mass incarceration on our society as a whole.

    • 58 min
    18: Vital Diagnosis

    18: Vital Diagnosis

    Episode 18 of With(in) -- Vital Diagnosis -- dives into the intricacies of recognizing and treating mental health issues inside of prison. Associate Producer Sarah Berry and With(in) Co-Host Denise Presson interview Mental Health Supervisor for Denver Women’s Correctional facility Ms. Abeyta. They discuss the disparity between the percentage of women versus men seeking help, correctional fatigue and the importance of “filling your cup.” William Davenport, incarcerated in Sterling Correctional Facility, speaks with segment host Brett Phillips about growing up experiencing his mother’s mental health issues, and his passion for his role as a Mental Health Peer Assistant, a program created by the Colorado Department of Corrections to provide low-level interventions for incarcerated folks in their time of need. Then, With(in) Music Producer Travis Barnes and Co-Host Denise Presson have a round-table conversation with CDOC staff members; Licensed Professional Councilor Lindsay Wolf and Licensed Social Worker Courtney Sheldon. In it, they disclose the idea that everyone who enters prison, staff or incarcerated, is walking around with trauma, and yet most people don’t even know what trauma actually is. Co-hosts Andrew Draper and Denise Presson explore the thought that the stigma of mental health struggles creates complicated spaces in which we tend to judge rather than to offer care.

    We love engaging with our listeners! Leave your comments or reviews. Tell us what you think about what you heard. Your opinions are important to us.

    • 1 hr 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
94 Ratings

94 Ratings

Tonic Dominant ,

Infinitely Valuable

I feel like I’ve been waiting for this podcast to appear in my life for a long time. It’s pure, it’s honest, it’s creative, it’s sobering, it’s compassionate, it’s desperately important to help me understand what really goes on in my fellow human’s minds. If you’re ready to engage with suffering and expand your perspective on our whole society, this podcast is for you.

TealMango80 ,

Extraordinarily Ground Breaking

I am in awe of this podcast. I can not put into words how amazing it is to know that the “residents”(yes I’ll use that term), are finally being heard. I am excited to see what change is going on in Colorado, it makes me proud to hail from the state. I hope that this podcast not only is going to be heard in Colorado’s correctional facilities but nationwide. You have started a movement of compassion. I pray that more people will pick up what you have started and create nationwide reform in our judicial system as a whole. Please know I see you and hear you and you have blown my mind and opened it wide open. Thank you

crosrosestone ,

Phenomenal

Thank you for your work and commitment to a culture shift. It is moving and insightful. Congratulations to all involved. And cheers to William Graham who has enlightened me to the power of poetry. Excellent podcast!

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