A radio series raising awareness about the issues faced by women when they are first released from prison will launch on Friday 27th May.
“What I Know Now” is a series of short radio programs produced by Seeds of Affinity Pathways for Women, an Adelaide-based support group for women of lived prison experience, as part of a research project supported by the University of South Australia.
The radio series targets women who have just been released from prison, or who are about to make this transition, and provides information the participants wished they had been told upon release.
“I know from a personal stand-point that when you’re released from prison, to actually believe that you’re worth anything, to believe that you can contribute anything to mainstream society, it’s very very difficult,” said participant Linda Fisk, who was a founding member of Seeds of Affinity in 2006.
The radio programs will also inform the general public about the main issues faced by women when they first re-enter the community after a prison sentence, as well as promote the services offered by Seeds of Affinity Pathways for Women.
The series was developed through a set of workshops led by Dr Heather Anderson, Journalism Lecturer from the School for Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia and Dr Charlotte Bedford, Visiting Researcher at the Department of Media, University of Adelaide.
“Radio is a powerful medium for story-telling,” said Dr Heather Anderson.
“It overcomes problems with literacy but also humanises the issues being discussed – which is important for women who have been stigmatised by a past prison sentence”.
Dr Anderson and Dr Bedford have both previously worked in prisoner radio, in Australian and the UK, and are currently researching the benefits of radio in assisting prisoners to avoid recidivism, both during incarceration and post-release.
They approached Seeds of Affinity with a basic concept to use radio to produce messages, and the series developed from there.
“There was a strong commitment from the start of the project that the Seeds’ women wanted to help others who were going through what they had already survived,” Dr Anderson said.
The theme of ‘What I know now’ has driven the project from the very start”.
Seeds of Affinity participants developed skills in preparing and conducting interviews, recording voice-overs, scripting radio packages and explored a variety of story-telling techniques over an eight week period to produce the radio series.
The programs will showcase on WOW FM 100.5MHz (Semaphore community radio) at 3pm on Friday May 27th, and will be rebroadcast on University of South Australia’s internet radio station unicast.com.au at 5pm on the same day.
The series will also be showcased nationally on community radio through the radio show Jailbreak and podcast on the Seeds of Affinity website (seedsofaffinity.org.au). Three D Radio’s Prison Show will also broadcast the pieces over the next month.
Interested broadcasters are welcome to contact Dr Heather Anderson for a copy of the audio.
Or you can check out the Teaser below
Dr Heather Anderson, University of South Australia