Fri 05 May, 2024

Behind the Crime series 3 repeats on BBC Radio 4

In Behind the Crime, forensic psychologists Sally Tilt and Dr Kerensa Hocken interview people who have been to prison about the lives that led up to their crimes.

Sally and Kerensa have both worked in prisons for over 20 years. Their job is to work with those who have committed some of the most serious offences, to help them understand the roots of their harmful behaviour and to avoid further harm after they’re released from prison.

In Behind the Crime they take the time to get to know someone who’s been to prison, and over the course of an entire programme, trace their life from childhood through to crime, justice and release from prison.

The Prison Radio Association produces this series in partnership with BBC Long Form Audio. The third series is currently being repeated on BBC Radio 4, before the launch of series 4 in July.

Series 1 and 2 are still available to listen to on BBC Sounds.

Series 1 features interviews with Chris (whose drug-induced psychosis led him to a conviction for reckless arson), Khamran (who was imprisoned after a random, violent attack on a man on a railway station platform), and Ian (who was so desperate to control his compulsive behaviour that he deliberately walked into a police sting operation).

Series 2 features interviews with Sinem (who whilst working as a prison officer was caught trafficking multiple packages of cannabis into a young offender institution), Duewaine (who spent the best part of two decades in and out of prison, as a drug habit combined with patterns of behaviour that took root at an early age to spiral harmfully out of control) and David (who was convicted of fraud committed while working in the recruitment sector after sliding into immoral, and then criminal behaviour, almost without realising).

Series 3 launched in December 2023 and to get listeners ready for the next series, BBC Radio 4 are repeating the episodes.

In the first episode of series 3 we hear from Fran, whose lies encouraged well-meaning, unsuspecting people to invest in her business under false pretences. As we dig back into Fran’s formative experiences, we start to see the patterns that led to this catastrophic chain of events.

In the second episode, we hear from Gary, a self-described ‘fat kid’ at school who served a prison sentence for his role in the supply of £4.2 million of heroin. But this eye-catching conviction is only a fraction of Gary’s story. The survival strategies he developed at school sparked a remarkable chain of events that led him to prison… and then into the world of conceptual art.

And to finish the series, we hear from Marc. Between the ages of 15 and 21, Marc only spent one Christmas out of prison. He graduated from stealing hubcaps to committing armed robberies. During his last sentence, he ended up in HMP Grendon – a prison run on the principles of a ‘therapeutic community’ – where, for the first time, Marc was forced to confront his own actions and account for them not to the authorities, but to his peers.

HMP Grendon was ‘the hardest prison’ Marc had ever done. He cried for the first time inside Grendon. And then, in an extraordinary twist, Marc was forced to use some of the ‘skills’ he had learned during his criminal career to save the lives of others – and he was labelled a hero.

Series 3 of Behind the Crime broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 Wednesday 8, 15, 22 May at 15.30. Series 4 will be launching on Monday 1 July 2024. Click here to listen.

The Prison Radio Association is a registered charity. Our shows help people to cope with life inside prison and thrive on release. If you would like to support our work, and enhance the futures of people in prison across the UK you can make a donation at