What a well-conceived and well-produced series of radio programmes Prison Break was!
Created for Radio 5 as five half-hour shows by Josie Bevan (whose husband Rob served 4.5 years of a 9-year sentence for fraud), and aired at 11am on Fridays, the programmes were compulsive and essential listening. They were the best in-depth look at the UK criminal justice system I have experienced in my time in PF (1988 to date).
Each episode (very well summarised on the BBC website) stands alone with a wide range of subjects covered; moving testimonies, informative contributions from many whose work is concerned with the justice system (including the new Minister for Prisons), insights into the effects of crime on victims, and revelations regarding the so-called ‘prison pipeline’ from its beginnings to its consequences such as petty crime, addictions and mental health issues. Our conceptions of crime, harm, punishment, justice, reform and healing are also examined.
You will be greatly informed and challenged. I am deeply grateful to Josie for sharing her own, often painful experiences for the edification of her listeners, and for the general good.
Jonathan Compton is the Group Leader of PF Lincoln. Search Prison Break on bbc.co.uk/sounds