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Empathy and Incarceration with Helen Black

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

The Professional Empathy Podcast

Presented by Leanne Butterworth Empathy First

Episode 15

Empathy in Incarceration with Helen Black

The Empathy Podcast Episode 15

Show Notes/Timestamps

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On this episode of The Empathy Podcast, we speak to Helen Black on her experiences working in prisons and helping prisoners gain skills they otherwise may not have had the chance to explore. She talks about supporting adult mental health, taking risks and working with fearless employers and fellow social enterprises that are willing to display compassion and empathy and give prisoners a chance to come out of their sentence and contribute to society. We hope you enjoy this very powerful and moving episode of The Empathy Podcast.

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Time Stamps

00:00 - 2:20 - Introduction to the show

02:24 - 6:00 - What results has Helen gained from working in prisons?

6:30 - 11:34 - Starting Australia's first design studio inside a prison

13:40 - 14:46 - Why do we only care about the well-being of people before they turn 18?

17:30 - 20:00 - Have we all done something to break the law?

22:00 - 24:00 - How do you bridge the gap between inside prison and outside prison?

24:30 - 26:30 - Fearless employers

27:00 - 31:18 - Shifting the public perception and gaining empathy for prisoners

32:00 - 33:36 - Helen gets emotional about former prisoner wanting to take her own life

35:30 - 38:00 - Amazing ideas that the prisoners have come up with

38:30 - 41:00 - Getting a job after prison and contributing society

41:00 - How can we engage social enterprises and support businesses that help prisoners and Helen’s program?

About Helen Black

Helen believes in the power of second chances and fearless empathy. She has a proven track record bringing innovative ideas to prisons to reduce re-offending rates, founding Reboot, Australia's first digital studio in a prison and Pivot Prison Entrepreneurial Program.


Hi! I'm Leanne Butterworth, Empathy Speaker and Educator, University Lecturer and Mental Health Advocate.

Empathy First is a Brisbane-based social enterprise offering Empathetic communication workshops, online courses and individual Empathy coaching to help you build connection and strengthen your relationships for personal and professional success.

Contact me today and let's talk about how you can put Empathy First.

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