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My Dog Habit: Diana Linz Reflects On How Canines Help Her Cope In and Out of Prison

Woman's Voices prison dayton correctional
Juliet Fromholt

Diana Linz has always had a connection with dogs, and being in the dog program at the prison has helped her  cope with being locked up.

Highlights from the audio:

“When I grew up, I was very lonely. I only had a dog and a couple of cats. And when I left home, somehow I felt like I had to take in every animal that I saw...I kinda got wrapped up in selling marijuana in order to support my dog habit. My dog rescue habit.”

“I have to say that the first couple of years [in prison] I was an emotional mess. They had me on a lot of meds cause I couldn’t stop crying. And then even the meds made me cry.”

“The people in [the dog] unit are a lot more cheerful and laid back, because there’s a mellowness and lightness that comes from being in a unit with a bunch of dogs. And you can’t stay angry long cause you can turn around and pet a dog, and it takes your anger away right away. It’s very therapeutic.”

Women’s Voices at Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on “WYSO’s Community Voices class at the prison on the 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 managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley and editorial input from general manager Neenah Ellis. Our incarcerated students were Shannon Evans, Alisha Federici, LaShae Landry, Diana Linz, Tyra Patterson, Or'Zaria Slaton, Nikkia Sullivan, Lana Williams, Melody Williams and Aimee Wissman.

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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