Artist, organizer, advocate and speaker, Aimee Wissman is a machine. An Ohio native, Aimee had a lot of instability growing up and those insecurities led to a heroin addiction at age 16 that lasted about 10 years. She did, however, manage to graduate high school and get a couple of years of college. But bad relationships and bad choices put her in the prison system. Aimee tried to get treatment before that, but the typical system of expensive treatments, no insurance, yaddah yaddah made it impossible. She did use her incarceration time to make a short film, reflecting how she tried to change her life but nothing was available in her situation. A burglary and robbery charge were considered violent crimes, so her sentence was harsh. Aimee gave birth to her daughter about a year before starting her sentence and tried to shake her drug habit. However, a domestic altercation with the girl's father threw a wrench into that path. Coupled with an eight-year sentence and a maximum security incarceration for the first two years, Aimee had her face-the-music moment. She began making art objects to send to her daughter to keep connected, and that gave birth to a full-blown program that was running full steam by the time Aimee left the system. Others have produced their own films and and have gotten public notoriety giving rise to a larger discussion of why people go to prison, and particularly, why women go to prison. And if you have a chance to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in the near future, you can see Aimee's work on display.
Felony Inc Podcast with your hosts Dick Hennessy and Meg Thibodeaux
We record the Felony Inc Podcast inside NedSpace in the Bigfoot Podcast Studio in beautiful downtown Portland.
Audio engineer, mixer and podcast editor is Allon Beausoleil
Show logo was designed by Carolyn Main
Website was designed by Cameron Grimes
Production assistant is Chelsea Lancaster
Felony Inc Podcast supports City Central Concern at centralcityconcern.org
10% of gross revenue at Startup Radio Network goes to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries thru kiva.org/lender/markgrimes
Listen to the Felony Inc Podcast every Friday at 10:00am pacific time on Startup Radio Network at startupradionetwork.com