Last March, the first series of Banged Up saw entrepreneur Rob Morrison who was convicted of fraud and former footballer Mike Boateng who had been convicted of match-fixing tell prison lawyer Claire Salama about what it’s really like to get banged up in a UK prison: from forming friendships with notorious killers and avoiding the constant presence of drugs and violence to the difficulty of navigating relationships on the outside and slipping mental health.
The series brings the real view of life behind bars that many have only seen via jail dramas and sitcoms such as ITV’s Bad Girls and BBC One’s Porridge.
Now, Rob, Mike and Claire are back for a second series that looks beyond their own personal stories with each episode hosting someone with a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, from ex-convicts with movie-worthy backstories and a victim of knife crime, to an anonymous “guv” working in a maximum-security UK prison and an ex-special prison advisor within the Conservative party. Each episode asks: is prison fit for purpose?
In the latest instalment, the show meets twenty-four-year-old Nives Gadoni who was making up to $60,000 a month running a high-end escort agency over four continents for some of the most successful people in Hollywood and on Wall Street, until she found herself arrested for drug trafficking in 2012, after being ‘snitched on’ by Diddy’s former bodyguard and taken down via a Sting operation.
In this episode, the hosts of Banged Up – prison lawyer Claire and ex-inmates Rob and Mike – talks to the self-described “international madam” about her descent into New York’s underworld, getting beaten up by an officer on the notorious Rikers Island and turning her life story into an upcoming film.
“Banged Up wants to encourage listeners to think more empathetically about how we treat those stuck in the “revolving door” that has become a “broken prison system”: from filthy conditions, a lack of money and resources, and poor quality training programs impacting the efficacy of rehabilitation, to coronavirus delaying justice and leading to people spending years longer in prison.
“Mental health is also a huge concern, with prisoners’ requests for treatment not being met and those testing positive for coronavirus unable to leave their cells to even shower or exercise.” – Banged Up statement
Ahead of each weekly episode, Banged Up will be asking listeners via Instagram, a question about the criminal justice system, to prompt conversation on air.