Walking into a prison for the first time is a nerve-wracking and intimidating experience. As each heavy door slams behind you, the sense of claustrophobia increases - even in open spaces there's netting overhead, and the barbed wire is clear to see.
In September 2011, I experienced that moment first hand, as I followed a group of inmates at the Mount Prison Hemel Hempstead who were taking part in a rehabilitative music programme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
My image of prison before that moment had been created from film and TV programmes. Part Prisoner Cell Block H, part Porridge, part Miami Mega-Jail, I was expecting a dark Victorian warren with scarred inmates and embittered staff. What I encountered changed my perspective (and my life) completely.
CLICK HERE and read the story in full! Source BBC Radio Blog