Broken Chains

Broken Chains

Get up close with the reality of Australia’s prison system. Former incarcerated person Damien Linnane interviews other people about their life both inside prison and after release. In this series Damien and his guests unpack topics such as modern slavery, life beyond prison, mental health and art behind bars in relation to people and prisons in Australia.

About the Host

Podcast host Damien Linnane is the author of the crime novel Scarred, the illustrator of the book This is Ear Hustle and the editor of Paper Chained, a journal posted free to inmates worldwide. He lives in Newcastle, Australia where he works primarily as an archivist.

Episode One: Modern Slavery Thousands of people are working in Australia for around a dollar an hour or less, and are not eligible for workers compensation, even if their supervisors are at fault and the accident results in permanent injury or death. Where is this possible in the 21st century? Only in the prison system, where incarcerated people are often expected to work in high-risk areas with training far below accepted Australian standards. Welcome to the first episode of Broken Chains: A Prison Podcast, where Courtney and I discuss prison labour, or as we prefer to think of it, modern slavery.

Episode 2: Beyond Prison Being incarcerated is challenging enough, but sometimes the real battle begins when you leave prison, only to find a world that now seems much smaller. How do you deal with the stigma of having been to prison? How easy is it to find employment with a criminal record? And how do you pick up the pieces of your life and try and fit back into society? Join former incarcerated persons Damien Linnane and Richard Brooking as they discuss life after prison.

Episode 3: Mental Health “The only thing we can do for your mental health is give you the phone number of a service to call once you’re released.” With prisons overcrowded with people suffering from mental health issues, many would assume there would be adequate therapy available. But not only are people denied the treatment that could help stop the cycle or re-offending, the isolation and restrictions in the prison system further exacerbate existing mental health conditions. So how do the incarcerated navigate a system that seems engineered to stop them from getting better? Join former incarcerated persons Damien Linnane and Jacob Little as they talk about the lack of mental health treatment in prison.

Episode 4: Art Behind Bars Sometimes creativity comes out of the darkest corners. On the last episode of Broken Chains for season one, Damien Linnane and Jayde Farrell talk about using prison as a place to develop artistic talents. Damien and Jayde are both former Australian soldiers as well as being formerly incarcerated. Jayde Farrell now works full-time as a multi-medium artist, while Broken Chains host Damien Linnane is now a part-time artist specialising in graphite photorealism and is the illustrator of the book This Is Ear Hustle.