In 2008, 21-year-old Lady Unchained got involved in a fight in a club while trying to protect her sister. Serving 11 months of her prison sentence, her life changed completely. Inside, Lady Unchained began to write, while battling isolation, loneliness and the fear of being wrongly deported. These notes became powerful bars of poetry, capturing first-hand the broken justice system and the racism rooted within it.
To celebrate the release of her debut book Behind Bars, Lady Unchained shared her journey through the system and how her identity was irrevocably changed during her sentencing, time in prison and release.
Now an award-winning broadcaster, Creative Director of Unchained Poetry, mentor and workshop facilitator, she is a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform on a mission to prove that there is life after prison.
The evening was hosted by Jules Rowan, co-presenter of Prison Radio Association’s Life After Prison. Having served a prison sentence in her early 20s, Jules qualified as a fitness instructor and built a successful career after her release.
We celebrated female voices affected by the justice system and experienced how creativity has helped them to tell those stories.
National Prison Radio is the world’s first national radio station for people in prison. It was developed and run by the Prison Radio Association (PRA), a charity that works in partnership with HM Prison and Probation Service to broadcast programmes designed to support people in prison. Programmes are produced by the PRA’s teams in Brixton and Styal prisons, where their staff work alongside men and women serving prison sentences to develop their production skills and talents.
The Prison Radio Association runs the only radio production project in a women’s prison anywhere in the UK. Donations from the event went towards their work in HMP Styal, helping women to develop their production skills, providing a broadcast platform for women’s voices and developing opportunities for women to continue their interest in media production and broadcasting after release from prison.