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LIFE JOLT: Transcripts | Listen

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.

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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.

EPISODES: 

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. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

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. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

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. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

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. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 5: Inside and Indigenous

Indigenous people account for five percent of Canada’s population, yet Indigenous inmates make up 30 percent of the country’s federal prison system. For Indigenous women, the number jumps up 42%. We share the stories of Chance and Alison, whose experiences illustrate how decades of intergenerational trauma lead people to prison. And how for Indigenous offenders, finding a connection to their heritage is what may ultimately set them free. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 6: The After Times, Part 1

Surviving a prison sentence is only half the battle. Getting out - and staying out - can be just as tough. Emily was a successful entrepreneur before she became a drug mule. Now that she’s out, she’s ready to start over with a new prison-inspired venture, but first she has to tackle her relationships with drugs, alcohol and men. Diana faces the challenge of healing her marriage and her family. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 7: The After Times, Part 2

Hard reality begins to set in for Diana as her home life starts to crumble. Mary’s hopes for freedom are derailed by her struggles with addiction. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 8: Surviving the Hole

The hole, the shoe, segregation. Whatever you call it, many human rights advocates consider solitary confinement a form of torture. Rosemary recounts her experience in solitary – what she describes as the most difficult moments of her life, and how the experience haunts her to this day. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

Episode 9: Legacy

Prison isn’t just painful for the person sent away. Rosemary left four children behind when she was locked up. She sits down with her two oldest twins for a difficult conversation about what her incarceration and absence was like for them. They talk about the challenges of being together after Rosemary’s release and learning to trust that she wasn’t going to leave them again. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/life-jolt-transcripts-listen-1.6857863

Access the transcript for this episode here.

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