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For One Mother, Visiting Her Daughter In Prison Brings Back A Painful Memory

Women's Voices From DCI - Logo 1
Juliet Fromholt

Shannon Evans is in the first year of a four-year term at Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI). She came to prison after falling into the depths of a heroin addiction. Previously, she’d been a schoolteacher and what she describes as a “goody-two-shoes.”

In this audio story, Evans talks to fellow DCI resident Melody Williams about how a piece of her own family history came full circle when she was sent to prison.

Highlights from the audio:

“My grandpa... was the get-away driver. One of his friends knocked over a convenience store. A Piggly Wiggly actually is what they were called. But my grandfather was in a prison in West Virginia when my mom was like two years old.”

“My grandma took my mom to visit, and they were driving down a windy country road on route 250 in West Virginia. It was a dark, rainy, dreary fall day. And back then people didn’t wear seat belts, and my mom was sitting in the front seat as a little toddler. My grandma slid and went off the road, and my mom and grandma both actually went through the windshield.”

“Often times in life I think about how things come full circle. So as far as my being in prison and how my family feels about it, it’s actually much deeper than she’s in prison and we miss her.”

Women’s Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on WYSO’s Community Voices class at the prison on Dayton's west side. WYSO selected 10 incarcerated women through a competitive application process, and taught them interviewing, storytelling and recording skills. The series is produced and mixed by WYSO managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley, editorial oversight from general manager Neenah Ellis and production and design help from webmaster Juliet Fromholt.


Renee Wilde was part of the 2013 Community Voices class, allowing her to combine a passion for storytelling and love of public radio. She started out as a volunteer at the radio station, creating the weekly WYSO Community Calendar and co-producing Women’s Voices from the Dayton Correctional Institution - winner of the 2017 PRINDI award for best long-form documentary. She also had the top two highest ranked stories on the WYSO website in one year with Why So Curious features. Renee produced WYSO’s series County Lines which takes listeners down back roads and into small towns throughout southwestern Ohio, and created Agraria’s Grounded Hope podcast exploring the past, present and future of agriculture in Ohio through a regenerative lens. Her stories have been featured on NPR, Harvest Public Media and Indiana Public Radio.
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