Damien Linnane Bio

Damien Linane is a Newcastle-based author, artist and activist who aims to destigmatise prison, promote the need for prison reform and highlight the lack of rehabilitation services for prison inmates.

In late 2015 Damien Linnane was sentenced to a non-parole period of 10 months in prison for crimes the sentencing magistrate described as ‘vigilante justice’. “I was told there was no funding for therapy at my prison and, due to budget cuts, I was also unable to pursue any form of tertiary education. Our current system focuses on warehousing prisoners until their eventual release, rather than providing them with skills and support to stop the cycle of re-offending and build their ability to play a role in communities”

Choosing to view his imprisonment as a once in a lifetime opportunity rather than as a punishment, Damien spent the first five months of his sentence writing a crime novel, 'Scarred', which was published by Tenth Street Press in November 2019. Damien spent the second half of his sentence teaching himself to draw, and now runs the art business Vigilante Studios.
 Earlier this year Random House commissioned Damien to illustrate the upcoming book 'This is Ear Hustle', written by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods and due for release on 12 October, 2021.

Damien holds a master’s degree in Information Studies and works primarily as an archivist. Damien is also the host of the podcast Broken Chains, created in conjunction with this art exhibition and produced by Newcastle Libraries, and is the editor of Paper Chained, a writing and art journal posted to prisoners worldwide.

View the virtual exhibition.