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Inside Story ·

Glimpses of Prison Life, Through TikTok and TV

We see how glimpses of life behind bars go viral online, and talk with Piper Kerman about creating “Orange is the New Black.”

The sixth episode of Inside Story explores how formerly incarcerated people are using TikTok to share their experiences, giving the public a raw view of prison conditions, and bringing us into their everyday lives on the outside.

Host Lawrence Bartley also sits down with Piper Kerman about what moved her to write “Orange Is The New Black,” her memoir that inspired the Netflix hit show, and her connection with the women she served time with.

Lawyer, poet and activist Reginald Dwayne Betts takes us on a tour of Freedom Reads, an organization which builds libraries in prisons across the U.S. Betts shares how receiving a book of poetry while in solitary confinement changed the course of his life.

In an animated essay, Matt Azzano brings us into the system of bartering and trade in New York’s solitary confinement.

Finally, Bartley notes the growing trend of justice-affected people taking ownership of their stories through tools like social media, and asks viewers to consider their ability to stomach an honest look at prison life.

Reading list:


Keri Blakinger, Leslie Eaton, Akiba Solomon, Raghuram Vadarevu, Celina Fang, Marci Suela, Andrew Cohen, Martin Garcia, Savannah Hugueley, Anastasia Valeeva, Weihua Li, Susie Cagle, Rachel Dissell, David Eads


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