The Locked up Living Podcast: Surviving and thriving in prisons and other challenging environments

The Locked up Living Podcast: Surviving and thriving in prisons and other challenging environments

Can institutional culture challenge your mental health? What if your job makes you feel shame, sadness, grief, disgust and fear? What if you are expected not to feel? Or you are expected to be relentlessly competitive? What it’s like to live or work in a prison? Does working with people who commit murder, child abuse and rape affect people who work in prisons and the wider criminal justice system? How do people survive and thrive when facing significant challenges to our emotional health over a lengthy period? How do we protect ourselves and stay compassionate, loving and trusting? Importantly, how do we find and preserve hope? Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote that “The degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons”. In this weekly podcast ,your hosts, David Jones (Forensic psychotherapist) and Dr Naomi Murphy (Consultant Clinical & Forensic Psychologist) hope that exploring less visible aspects of prisons will help listeners see that prisons are a window into society and let us see people not only at their worst but also at their best. We feature a rich range of guests sharing snap shots of life in prisons and take a look at hospitals, schools, sport and the police in order to learn from other institutions. We learn about challenges to human integrity and hear important lessons and heart-warming stories about survival and growth when facing adversity in harsh places. We hope that sharing our conversations can help you make changes to your own relationship with institutions that might challenge your emotional health and well-being. Follow and connect with us and give us feedback. Let us know what you think works, and also what doesn’t. We want you to look forward to the podcast each week. We’ll also be extremely grateful for any reviews that you give us. A simple star or two or a thumbs up will do. Email: or connect with us on: Substack: Twitter: Linkedin: Insta:


March 29, 2023 68 min

Many of our podcast conversations have engaged with the idea of thinking, how to encourage, to change, to stop. This discussion is also about thinking but approaching it from an oblique angle. Journaling and poetry, two activities that involve getting thoughts out of ones mind and written down on paper.

Hugh Venables is a Yorkshire-based writer and poet. He is passionate about the power of words. A selection of his poetry is availa...
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Dan Lawrence is a forensic psychologist who is based in a secure mental health service in south wales where he provides input into medium and low secure services for men. He is also a PhD student, associate tutor and academic supervisor at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He conducted an important scoping study into the effect of restrictive practices in adult forensic mental health services. D Lawrence et al.


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Alex Busansky (president of Impact Justice) and George Carter Impact/Justice


Today we are pleased to be meeting with Alex Busansky. Alex began his career as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 1987. For 12 years, he handled homicides, serious domestic and other family violence, and sex abuse cases. He moved on to found Impact Justice, a national innovation and research center based in Oakland, CA and Washi...

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One of the pleasures of our Locked up Living conversations, for us, is that we are always meeting people who come with different experience and a different perspective. But always the underlying tenets ar the same, sensitivity, thoughtfulness and trust. Such a person is Margie Wright.

Margie Wright bio.

When I was a teenager growing up in Zimbabwe I used to imagine, one day working as a psychotherapist but I never said it out loud ...

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In this fascinating and challenging conversation Dr Bradford talks about his journey towards a realisation that the male/female disadvantage debate is much more complex than it may seem. But it is always very difficult and sometimes dangerous to talk about.

Dr Rick Bradford has enjoyed a successful  career in physics and engineering, he has become increasingly drawn to investigating men’s issues in recent decades, and has gained mu...

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The first sentence of this podcast will probably resonate with many people. Shona Minson courageously talks about the impact upon her health and wellbeing of working intimately with traumatised children and mothers. It is a very honest conversation and we are grateful to Shona for sharing her reflections with us.


Shona is currently a British Academy Post Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology. Since March 2020 she has bee...

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Edson Hato is an award winning executive who transforms multi-billion global companies, start-ups and scale ups through a process called “rehumanisation”. He has 20 years experience of helping businesses transform their culture to promote talent, leadership and organisational development, performance, diversity and inclusion.  He started his career at Price Waterhouse Cooper but has since worked as Senior Vice President of Human Re...

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February 8, 2023 40 min

Bullying at work is common and particularly pernicious when it comes from your manager. They can often become obsessed and expend enormous resources to catch you out or undermine your position. Todays conversation is from the heart as we touch upon matters that have personal meaning. Our guest is Eden. Eden is a court reporter and has worked as court reporter for two years now. She attends virtual employment Tribunals to take notes...

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Dean has practiced in prison law for around 15 years. He is often at the forefront of the main challenges protecting the rights of prisoners and viewed as someone who works tirelessly to expose injustice and a lawyer who does not shirk from representing those for whom antipathy is to be expected from the courts, or the general public.

In 2020, he was named public law legal aid lawyer of the year, which recognised the fact he is oft...

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Caroline Purvey has dedicated over a decade to creating a unique, sustainable, cost-effective programme to eradicate unnecessary suffering from stress, overwhelm, and trauma.  Her established and trusted brand TRE UK® delivers the Total Release Experience® programme which has transformed the lives of men, women, and children globally. Author of #1 bestseller ‘Feel It To Heal It’ Caroline comes highly recommended by professionals in...

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Ali and Neil talk about the work that they did together and how the art therapy 'fitted' and helped in ways that other therapies had missed.


Ali Coles is an Art Psychotherapist with Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Lecturer at the University of South Wales;  She is also Associate Editor of the International Journal of Art Therapy; She is also co-editor of Art Psychotherapy and Innovation: New Ter...

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I was brought up in Belfast and London, and have since lived all around England, and for 10 years in West Berlin (five years before the Wall was opened and five years after). I went to university in the late 60s, and went to work as a prison psychologist in 1971, based in several different prisons, before going to the Home Office Research Unit in London in 1978. In 1980 I left the Home Office and became a househusband for a couple ...

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Dr Libby Nugent is a Clinical Psychologist and group work practitioner of Group Psychoanalysis.  She specialises in sexual health, complex trauma and  group psychology.  She has a longstanding interest in  the need to connect with creative ways of thinking deeply about ourselves, each other, our society and the many identities we live.

Libby has an online workshop series January 2023

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* Shortly after we spoke with David he messaged us to say that hehad been approved to work in his local prison. He said "The Governor is 100% going to clear me, "I will officially be the 1st person with that length of criminal past to be given clearance into his prison" that's what the governor has said to my line manager. 

So I'm chuffed about that because it shows that change in culture and mindsets can happen at the higher level...

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David first had the pleasure of meeting Dalton when visiting Ripon House, an exceptional approved premises for women in Leeds. Dalton had left the hostel some time earlier but returned to share some of his experiences with me and my colleagues. Dalton Harrison is the founder of StandFast Productions (a collective of ex-offenders who use art and performance to tell their stories) and has worked as a teaching assistant with the Insid...

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Video link which includes Alberto's diagrams is here:

Dr Alberto Urrutia-Moldes, originally from Chile, holds a PhD in prison architecture from the University of Sheffield. He is a Lecturer in Construction in the partnership program of the University of Bath Spa and GBS in Manchester, UK. He is also a Lecturer in prison built environment at the Centre for Public Innovation in Latin America (InnovaPublic...

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Diane is a former probation officer, a social worker and a psychotherapist.  She now works independently in a variety of roles offering therapy, consultation, professional supervision, quality assurance and training for individuals and organisations.  She is a Trustee for Circles South West.  Diane also offers support to other practitioners working in the area of risk assessment and management.

A Practical Guide to Working with Sex...
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Can sport prevent young people from offending? Do elite footballing academies exploit children? Simon is the founder of Delamill Tutoring which offers Mental Health 1st Aid training and training in Mental Health Awareness & Sports Leadership. He is a UEFA A licence football coach who has worked for Portsmouth FC, Fulham FC and more recently for The FA as a Coach Developer and has worked as a Youth worker for Portsmouth City Council...

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What can psychologist's learn from journalists about communication? Can a journalist represent the work of psychologists better than psychologists do themselves? 

John Nassoori is a freelance journalist who writes about performance psychology's role in sport for publications including the BBC and The Guardian. He tells stories on subjects ranging from the first World Cup-winning psychologist to weightlifting beauty queens and produ...

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What's it like to use the Family Court to resolve custody battles?  Where can you find help if your partner puts up barriers to contact with your children.   Zac Fine shares his own experience of fighting for contact in court and advice that ceasefire and collaboration is best for the children and the adults involved.    Zac Fine is a psychotherapist with a special interest in masculinity. He practices online
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