117: A Day in the Life of a Prisoner

117: A Day in the Life of a Prisoner

A typical day in prison.


This is the third episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories by her former students and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.

Today’s show shares a story by Roderick Richardson, an inmate in a Florida prison. Rod is a master storyteller who grew up in Liberty City, which is a very rough area in Miami. Rod took care of his six brothers and sisters when his mom was incarcerated. At 12 years old, Rod sold drugs to keep food on the table. His story is not unique, unfortunately. Rod is serving a life sentence for robbery.

We also share an interview with former prison doctor, Karen Gedney. Dr. Gedney is an internal medicine specialist who spent almost 30 years as a prison physician. She was designated as one of the best in the business by the American Correctional Association and won a Heroes for Humanity Award for her work in HIV in the correctional system. Dr. Gedney ran the only regional prison medical facility in the state of Nevada. She was a naive young physician who survived a world she was ill-prepared for and turned it into a calling. You can read Dr. Gedney’s story in her book, 30 Years Behind Bars. Trials of a Prison Doctor. 

Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Koi, Marnino Toussaint, Amadians.

There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com, including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. 

If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.

A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. 

There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding.

This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.