Prisoners’ Radio

Connecting communities through alternative discourse

Authored by: Heather Anderson

The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415644044
eBook ISBN: 9781315717241
Adobe ISBN: 9781317509417


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You’re listening to Locked In on 4ZZZ 102.1FM. We’re your weekly prisoners’ request show and don’t forget, if you’re offended by strong language or adult concepts, please tune out for the next two hours. First up we have a letter from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre … Dear Locked In, how the fuck are yas?

(Locked In, 21 October 2013, 6:03 pm) Welcome to the world of prisoners’ radio, where prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their friends and families, as well as activists and community broadcasters, discuss public and private elements of life behind bars. This chapter explores how prisoners’ radio engages prisoners’ voices and fosters their connections to community while producing alternative discourses that enrich the wider public sphere. While there are many different aspects of prisoners’ radio worthy of research and discussion, there are two aspects of particular significance. First, as isolated institutions, prisons do not appear conducive to fostering connections between prisoners and the wider community to which the majority of them will return. Prisoners’ radio provides such a conduit. Second, again due to the private and insulated nature of correctional services, very little is known about this stage of the justice system. Prisoners’ radio provides one way to generate alternative discourses and understandings about the incarcerated. But first we need to paint a picture of the genre itself.

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