Life Jolt

By CBC Podcasts

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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.

Episode Date
Episode 4: Parenting from the Pen
Prison can be especially difficult for mothers. They struggle with separation and guilt as their kids are raised by grandparents, partners, exes or worse - by strangers. Melissa was staring down a three-year sentence with a baby only weeks away. She thought the child welfare system was her only option until she learned about a program that allows mothers to raise their children in prison.
May 10, 2021
Episode 3: The Loop
For repeat offenders like Mary, the criminal justice system can feel like a never-ending loop. It’s a cycle of crime and incarceration rooted in poverty, addiction and trauma. Mary learns how prison can feel inevitable when small mistakes carry enormous consequences.
May 03, 2021
Episode 1: The Before Times
The road to prison begins with a period of uncertainty and dread – the time between arrest and sentencing. It’s before your day in court, before you've been convicted or acquitted. First time prisoner Diana learns that if you’re lucky you get bail, and if you don’t, the wait can be excruciating.
Apr 26, 2021
Episode 2: Welcome to Grand Valley
Grand Valley Institution is the federal penitentiary for women in Ontario, and it’s where first time prisoners Diana and Emily will serve their time. It’s where they learn the ropes of prison life and begin personal reckonings about the paths and choices that brought them here.
Apr 26, 2021
Introducing: Life Jolt
Life Jolt — prison slang for a life sentence — brings you the lives of women navigating Canada’s correctional system. Host Rosemary Green, who spent five years in prison herself, guides us through tough issues like solitary confinement, parenting on the inside and the over-representation of Indigenous people in Canada's prisons. She takes us inside a federal penitentiary in Ontario, where we get unprecedented access to the inmates who call it home.
Apr 01, 2021