straightline FI
Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Straightline: Making it on release from prison

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New app from National Prison Radio, Straightline shares films from 7 released prisoners who recount how they managed to stay on the outside of the prison gates.


A new app from the team behind National Prison Radio aims to provide prisoners with support in their first week after release.

The content is simple, but of very high quality, seven films presented by former prisoners, designed to help people find their feet in the crucial days after they leave prison.

Their stories are inspiring and seek to help people just to answer questions about who they are and what direction they’re going.

Drawing exclusively on first hand experiences, the films explore such key questions as:

  • How are you going to spend your time?
  • Which people should you have around you?
  • Where are you going to go?

The seven films are by a range of prisoners of different backgrounds and ethnicities, both men and women and include one by LJ Flanders, the man behind the Cell Workout programme and Tracy who learnt about looking after pigs inside and now runs a medium-sized business selling bacon etc. from 800 pigs, who says.

I could have earned more money by going straight anyway.

The films deal with a number of emotional and practical problems, everything from parenting to homelessnes with a motivational emphasis throughout strengthened immeasurably by having real people tell their own stories.

2. What’s Your Straightline? from Straightline on Vimeo.
The purpose of these films is to help people think about their own future, and how they’re going to find their “Straightline”.

You can download the Android version of the app from here and the Apple version here.

Building a community

But the most exciting feature of this app is that it just the first step in Prison Radio’s ambition to build an online community to facilitate mutual support between released prisoners. The aspiration is to have large numbers of people who have left prison upload their own content to the website and develop a community which can support each other in real-time. Prison Radio will be looking for local partners to provide details about organisations which can support released prisoners.

If you’re interested in being part of this new community or supporting its development, visit the homepage which has an easy form to get in touch and find out more information.


All innovation posts are kindly sponsored by Socrates 360 which provides a complete solution for staff, prisoners, probationers, etc. combining engaging content, simple set-up and an easy tracking system. Socrates 360 has no influence over editorial content.

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