Imprisonment and Life Transformation (Part 2)

This is part two of my conversation with Mike who spent seven years in federal prison. Mike talks about his experiences participating in a group inside the prison called the Jericho Circle which he credits with teaching him emotional literacy and authenticity. Indeed the work he did with the Jericho Circle enabled him to reunite with his son after he was released. Mike now goes back into prison to help lead circles for the men inside, not only to give back, but also because it helps keep him connected to what makes him feel most free. 

Imprisonment and Life Transformation (Part 1)

A conversation with Mike, who spent seven years in a federal prison on a drug conviction.  He talks about the circumstances which led to his arrest, including an abusive upbringing and a chemical dependency which began in his mid-teen years.  He describes his arrest in a hotel, and the subsequent trial in which the perjury of a key witness caused Mike to receive a much longer sentence than he would have otherwise.  He goes on to explain how he eventually accepted this fate, dropping his legal appeal, and why this decision was an important turning point both in his prison sentence and in his life.  

On the Experience of Arrest and Imprisonment

A conversation with Liz, only three days after her release from prison.  She discusses her shame at being arrested, and the experience of exposure and intrusion from a public trial.   She describes the surprising support she received from other women in prison, and the experiences she had inside that felt transformative.  Liz also talks about how difficult it was to know how to parent her teenage children from inside, the stress of the prison environment, and the vulnerability of now telling people where’s she’s been. 

Helping Prisoners Tell Their Stories

A conversation with Lani Peterson of the Public Voice Project about her work with formerly incarcerated men and women to help them tell their stories in a way that helps them to make peace with their past and move forward in their lives.  She explains the importance of telling a story that is bigger than a narrow focus on a bad decision or mistake.   She describes storytelling as a key to transforming your self-image, and how others see you.  She also discusses the techniques she’s discovered to hold the listener through stories that can be difficult to hear, and the ways that listening can also be a transformative process.

Your Untold Stories of Dementia

This week we conclude our series on the untold stories of dementia by presenting a collection of stories from you, our listeners, about the ways that dementia has affected your lives.  This collection of ten stories reflects the wide range of experiences and emotions that result from having a loved one with dementia – including frustration and poignant loss, but also warmth, connection, and surprising moments of sweetness.

Update: We received two other contributions to this series from listeners:  A link to an Alzheimer’s documentary by Scott Kirschenbaum.  The film follows one woman as she talks about her life in an assisted living facility and can be found at:

And this picture below from Sandra Horne, from some of her last days looking after her grandmother who had dementia.

me and nana