© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A Life Sentence: Lana Williams Reflects On Her Time In Prison

Women's Voices From DCI - Logo 1
Juliet Fromholt

Lana Williams reflects on a typical day in prison, and how she’s getting through a life sentence without parole.

Highlights from the audio:

“You know, some days I can go through the day like a breeze. Almost like I’m at home. Literally free at home. Without a care in the world. But then there are other times when I feel really exactly what this place is sought out to make you feel like. And that is closed in, away from everyone and everybody.”

“I don’t look for pity parties so I stuff, I keep a lot of stuff held in. And I’ve been told it’s not ok, it’s not good to do that. But it works for me. It works for me because I know not everyone here, not staff, nor friend or foe, has my best interest at heart so. A selective few may, and when I say few literally counting on one hand that I can pour my heart out to and talk to.”

“But it works for me because you have to kind of figure out your own way of dealing and maintaining in a place like this without losing your mind or becoming so depressed and sad that you literally want to give up life itself. Which I have seen throughout the years. But you know, I keep the faith. And I hold on. I hold on to hope that one day I will be released from here.”

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.
Related Content