• Sara Spears

Sara Bennett - Episode Transcription

Updated: 2 days ago

Walk the Line Intro: [00:00:00] <Music> You have a collect call from Taylor an inmate at the Washington correctional center. To accept the call press 5 <Music>

Taylor Conley: [00:00:33] There's nothing like waking up to the sound of clacking and buzzing as the doors crack in the morning after count clears waking up to the reality of life in prison. For some, it's just a stop along their journey, a mile post an experience. For others, it is a revolving door in and out, in and out. And that's the way of life, stuck in the cycle pulling and eating away at them.

And then for some it becomes their destination as the hammer came down and that judge issued em a death sentence The slow way by way of life in prison.

This is the life of a lifer by Taylor Conley <Music>

Hello, friends and family. How you doing today? Hopefully everything's going well. Just another day in the slammer. Here I am and there you are. Thank you for joining us though. I would love to let you know a little something about what we got going on at Design Conviction.

Finally, we have a really, really exciting announcement for you. On April 17 we're going to be holding our first show, like officially a Designed Conviction production. It's going to be in Longview, Washington, my hometown, and it's going to be the free Taylor show we are hosting Seth Anthony, really, really amazing artist.

He does this special blend of country music that is kind of like no other. He combines a little rap, hip hop-ish type music with country, and he calls it rough neck, country music, and I really enjoy it and it's pretty amazing. And he's going to be coming to town. He's flying all the way out from Florida to do this show, and this is going to be something spectacular.

So if you're in the area, or even if you got to travel a little ways, I'm telling you right now, it's going to be worth it because not only is he performing, but we got a very special guest that's coming to speak. Dave doll, the founder of Dave's killer bread. He's going to come out and he's going to, he's going to be a special guest speaker.

I really can't wait to see how this thing turns out. I know I won't be able to be there in presence, but we're going to make a movie out of this thing. And, hopefully at some point I'll get to watch that. So, I mean, this is really history in the making, the first of its kind, I believe. And we also have a very special, opening act as well.

We got Olivia Klugman, a artist from Portland. She has a very beautiful voice and she's going to be coming out and singing some songs off of my album that's about to drop, about to put that thing on. It's, it's going to be out here very shortly, the free Taylor project. So if you really interested in finding out more go ahead and check out the freetaylorproject.com

and you can find out more details. Find out more about what we got going on and find the link to go and get your ticket to go see the show. Having said that, let's go ahead and get into this interview. We've got Sarah Bennett, who is a pretty amazing woman. She's got a lot of stuff going on. We're going to hear all about it. So what's welcome on, Sara.

Hello, hey. So we're going to see if we can get Sara on the line. Hey Sara, you there?

Sara Bennett: [00:05:01] I am. Nice to meet you.

Taylor Conley: [00:05:03] Hi, so we got Sara Bennett all the way from New York. Is that right? You're out in New York?

Sara Bennett: [00:05:10] Yeah. That's right.

Taylor Conley: [00:05:13] Wow, all right. And so she's working on some really cool things.

From what I understand, I keep hearing a lot of great things about this lifeafterlifeinprison.com website that you started and this project that you've been working on with a bunch of women that are lifers in prison or after they've gotten out of prison?

Sara Bennett: [00:05:37] Right, both.

Taylor Conley: [00:05:39] Okay. Okay. So would you like to tell us about it? Cause it sounds quite interesting to me being a lifer myself.

Sara Bennett: [00:05:46] Sure, yeah, sure. So you want me to tell you a little bit about myself and what I do?

Taylor Conley: [00:05:53] Yeah,

Sara Bennett: [00:05:55] Alright. So I'm a former criminal defense attorney. I was a defense attorney for like 18 years, and I left the practice of law in 2006 and then around 2008, 2009, I picked up a pro bono case where I was trying to get clemency from the governor of New York for a woman who had a 75 year life sentence. Somewhere along the line, like maybe two or three years later, I was trying to figure out how to make her feel more real than she was just on paper. So I ended up photographing 15 women who had been incarcerated with her, who had come out, talking about her influence on them. I wasn't really a photographer then, it was just an advocacy project. I put it together in a little book. It's called Spirit on the Inside. I started sending it around to the state legislators, the governor, pretty much anybody I could think of who might be able to have an impact on getting her clemency. So, fast forward a few more years, and she actually did get clemency. But what that project did for me was it set me on this photography road of trying to humanize people who had life sentences. Because when people look at the book I had done for her, they were really curious about the women's life. Oh, she was in prison? What was she in prison for? She's so beautiful. She has a child? Oh, she's a grandmother? I just felt like people out in the world were not that attuned to what people went to prison for, what their lives were like or anything like that.

So that's what got me started in the back of my mind. I always wanted to photograph women in prison with life sentences, but I didn't know how to get that access. And so I started out by following four women through their reentry process. So they, they all had life sentences, but not life without parole. They had say 25 to life and then ended up being denied parole many times in just 35 years. So, and that's my first project. It called life after life in prison and now has seven women on it that when I first started showing around and exhibiting it, it had followed the re-entry of four women. And at that time when it was exhibited. Maybe I've been following them for about 16 months, but now it's a longterm project that I've been following the same women for five or six years.

So that's kind of how I got started. The reason I did lifers is because, you have to look back, this is like 2012 people were not actually talking that much about mass incarceration yet, but when they were, they were talking about the low level drug offenders. And you could start to see that that was what Obama was doing and they were setting up those commissions to look at low level drug offenders. And that, in my mind, I was like, well, what about the lifers? Like those are the people who are filling up our prisons. If we're going to do something about incarceration, we really, really have to look at why we send people away for decades or even life. And I want people to meet the people that I know. , through photography or whatever. I mean, what I'm talking about. And care for them. So that's, that's how I got started.

My second project, which is the one that, your wife came to in Portland is called the bedroom project. And that theory is, it now has 21 women in it and it's 21 women. Who had life sentences, who then came home and they're sitting in their bedrooms. I took portraits of them in their bedrooms because that's a very intimate space, and often the only space they have, because they may live in shelters or communal housing, but it's their own space, and then I ask them to write something about how they felt in that space. So that's the second one. And then the third one is called looking inside portraits of women serving life sentences. And that one I did, basically in 2018, 2019 and I photograph 20 women with life sentences inside. Either a maximum security prison or if they were at the end of their sentences, they were in a medium. And again, I asked them, you know, what they wanted to tell the outside world. So that's what I'm through my visual imagery. I'm trying to get people to think about the humanity of people behind bars or out in the world.

Taylor Conley: [00:10:22] Yeah, I mean, that was very, very articulated into a way that gave me a lot of insight because the points that you're making about humanizing people, serving life sentences, and it sounds like you're kind of a pioneer as far as giving a voice and a picture so people can look inside to see more than just, Oh, this person committed this horrible crime and now let's cast them away from society forever and act like they're not alive anymore. Act like they're not still people,

you know?

Taylor Conley: [00:11:02] And so I really...

Sara Bennett: [00:11:06] I mean, I also want people...

Taylor Conley: [00:11:08] Yah, go ahead

Sara Bennett: [00:11:08] I want people to also understand something about, I mean, because I was a lawyer I was sort of uniquely placed to bring my own understanding of the system out into the public, like if kind of a melding of an artistic viewpoint with a legal viewpoint, but, I'll actually send you a copy of my newest book called Looking Inside Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences.

But when they're up on the wall and people look at it and they're like, Oh, that woman has life without parole. I wonder what she did? And I can say what she did is no different than the person standing next to her who has 20 to life. It's just the arbitrariness of the system. it's a matter of who your defender was or who the judge was, or what County you were sentenced in or what was happening in that town at that moment. There's just so many things that go into it, but it's not, it's not because one person's act is any worse than the other persons. I just want, I want people to think about that. But most of that I really want people to think about is sort of the, the toll on us as a society when we treat people so poorly and we lock them up. I mean, as you know, I mean, I've met so many amazing, I mean, my project is all women, it's because mostly people focus on men in the system and they don't really think that much about women. But I met so many amazing women, some of whom have done really horrible things.

It doesn't mean they're horrible people. They're actually really interesting people who we all could learn an awful lot from, right? So maybe, maybe they were a victim of circumstances or maybe, who knows. I'm not really, honestly, I'm not really that interested in what took people to prison, not what took them there cause I'm really interested in people's back story, but I'm not that interested in the particular act that locks them away for decades. I feel like we focus way too much for the rest of people's criminal history or whatever on that one act, and we never really think to be able to see beyond it. And it's the not being able to see beyond it. That makes us give people life sentences. I hope that makes sense.

Taylor Conley: [00:13:23] People end up getting defined by that, then the only thing that people ever say about it is that, and they don't look any further into that person or their life, and then they just, all of a sudden that's it. And then you're gone and it seems the system is set up to focus on punishment instead of rehabilitation. And also, I mean, through the 14 years I've been incarcerated, I've noticed that a lot of lifers take it upon theirselves, even though most of the programming is not available to lifers, just due to the fact that they say, well, you're doing life in prison, so why do we need to take any of our resources to do anything with you guys? Because you're just going to be in here forever anyway, so we don't need to waste our money or time on that. But, however, I've noticed that a lot of lifers take it upon theirselves at some point to get involved in whatever volunteer programs that they can, and then ended up becoming like really positive influences on the other people that come into prison and try to make a difference to where these people don't keep coming back to prison and her teaching some of these programs now, so it's...

Sara Bennett: [00:14:47] Yeah, that's it exactly.

Taylor Conley: [00:14:50] I believe, like people can change and people can be rehabilitated. There should be like some type of redemption available to people that were not just wasting, not only tax payer dollars and different money that's put into housing people. Cause I mean it costs a lot of money to house somebody.

So if you were to put that same money into rehabilitating somebody and then they were able to get out and be a productive member of society and also have an influence on the next generation to not make the same mistakes that I think it would make a lot more sense.

Sara Bennett: [00:15:28] But I also think that we talk a lot about rehabilitation and change, but honestly, I feel like people sometimes are who they are at their core. It's just that as a society, we fail people when they're young and so they don't get the chance to realize who they actually could be. And then sadly people go to prison and then they get an education and then they're in a safe space or "safe."

I have to put quotation marks around it, but especially for a lot of people who've experienced a lot of violence in their lives on the outside. If they're in a prison where they've not experienced a lot of violence and it can be a safer place, they get to be who they were. You know what I'm saying? Like it's sad that...

Taylor Conley: [00:16:09] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Sara Bennett: [00:16:10] That's the first place you get an education and then people will say, Oh, we rehabilitated them. But I say, what if you had taken that child from the time they were five years old and you put them in real good schools? Then they had the proper support and their family had support and had enough to eat and they had a place to live. people would not be resorting to violence. Right? And then that's what you see in, in people who've been in prison a long time. You see them as their best selves because they've had that opportunity to become that, so... That's the first time I'm saying that because I'm always hearing people are always talking about rehabilitation, and I always feel like when I get to know people and you ask them about their childhood, if they're an artist, they were always an artist. They just didn't have the chance to do that. Or if they like to read, they did like to read, they just didn't have access to the books, or there was something chaotic going on on at home or something like that.

Taylor Conley: [00:17:02] Yeah, I hear what you're saying. Absolutely. And I guess I say rehabilitation because at that is something that you hear a lot of and people relate to that and that's..

Sara Bennett: [00:17:12] By the courts

Taylor Conley: [00:17:12] the system has been into. Right? But I understand exactly what you're saying more than just that when you look into it and on a deeper level, it's like, because I was very young when I, when I was arrested, I was 20 years old and a few years before that I had just came out of a pretty horrible place that I got sent to when I was 15 until I was nearly 17, I went to this place called Tranquility Bay, which there's a documentary about it out there, but long story short, it was a whole group of programs like this...

Sara Bennett: [00:17:48] Yeah, I think I saw it.

Taylor Conley: [00:17:50] And so they shut them down cause they said that they were basically torturing kids. I went through a lot of horrible stuff in that time period. And then shortly after that, you know, I started doing a lot of drugs, which led me to a lifestyle that ultimately, though I'm not guilty of the crime that they found me guilty of, I committed a lot of, I did a lot of bad stuff leading up to there. So I don't blame anybody for winding up in the situation that I'm in. And I take responsibility for everything that I have done. And it's just, but it just shows that after time of like five or six, seven years of being in prison and coming to take accountability and, really like become a man instead of the kid that I was and the things that I went through up until that point was really when I started to really, I guess, come into being a good person, and it's just...

Sara Bennett: [00:18:49] Right and I think that's the personal story of people in prison, right? Is that something something happened to you that set you on a path right. That was not a good path.

But if you had had this, if you had had the proper support an intervention, you wouldn't have found yourself in that situation in the first place. That's just what I'm trying to say. Right. And I think that's true for most people, unless they, unless there's like mental illness, which is a whole different, I mean, that's really, a lot of prisons are filled with people with severe mental illness that if untreated or, or something like that. Right. And then on occasion there are a few people that would probably just fit into the, that big category of psychopath but there's not that many.

Taylor Conley: [00:19:36] Yeah. And I know there's some people that probably, Hmm. I'm not, I wouldn't say that people don't deserve to get out of prison, but maybe need like that psychiatric treatment versus a prison treatment where you just get locked in a box, and they may not be fit for society. But yet there is a great deal of people that are, and like, so in Washington state, we came up with the numbers that there's like,1,300 people that'll never get out of prison the way that the system stands right now, and I know a lot of people that are part of that 1,300 that are great, great people. They've grown a lot..

Sara Bennett: [00:20:21] Right? And honestly that's what I'm trying to show through my photography. There's a lot of people, and the nice thing about working in a visual medium, is you look at people and you can kind of see, like you see something when you look at a photo of somebody, and then you read what they have to say. It makes them a real person for you. And people feel a lot of compassion and empathy for my portrait subjects.

And I know that because I've exhibited, in this place, it's called Photoville. It's in Brooklyn, and it's once a year. And over the course of eight days I'd say there's a 100,000 people pass through there and they set up a little city, almost made out of freight containers.

And so I had a freight container last year with a bedroom project and this year with the, the women inside prison. And, people came through there and I talked to people nonstop for like eight to 10 hours every day for eight days. And people would go in and they would spend a lot of time like looking at the photos and reading what the woman had to say.

And then they would come up and they would be crying. And I always have a formerly incarcerated woman lifer with me so that they could talk to somebody who had actually had that experience. And then I had a place where people could write to the women who were in prison. And, Just the kinds of things, like there was a lot of, a lot of, first of all ignorance about what we do as a society.

And then there was so much compassion that was coming from the viewers towards the women. And I thought, well, this is successful. , this is what I'm trying to do. And visually it's an if a nice way to do it.

Taylor Conley: [00:21:59] Yeah, because, I mean, the visual. It's, it's reading something about somebody that somebody writes or something like that is one thing, but actually seeing people and not just in their worst light, like a lot of people get painted out to be bad and any images that get put out to the public are like behind bars or something in a court room, handcuffed, things like that. But when you actually, yeah. Mugshots stuff like that, but when you actually get to see somebody as a person and humanize that person, like what you're doing with your projects that you got going on, it's really cool. It's like, it's actually getting to see that person as a person.

And the fact that you're focusing on women, I think is great too. The two things, like you're doing the lifers and the women and focusing your, your resources on that, and I think that that's awesome because like you were saying, there really isn't a lot of exposure for women to get painted in, in a realistic light and a human.

Humanized light, like the way that you're doing. And so I really commend you and I respect it a lot because it's a subject that nobody's really talking about.

And I would definitely want to feature any stories of about the people that you have in your project and our magazine because we also do a magazine that goes out to people inside of prisons all around the country, and then content that we gather out of that people's stories, stuff that they want to share and contribute to the Designed Conviction project that we do, our social enterprise, which is about kind of doing the same stuff that you're doing a little bit more broader, than yours...

Sara Bennett: [00:23:59] Right, exactly

Taylor Conley: [00:23:59] ...is kinda focused on it on a specific thing. And so we would love to include anything that you would like to contribute or anything that any of the women that you work with would want to contribute. We would definitely like to make a space for you in our project as well, because we take all the content that we get from people inside and then we promote it and display works of people that are doing positive stuff.

People that are doing stuff with their lives and trying to give a voice to people and put their pictures, artwork or stories or whatever they want to share, and try to promote them the best that we can. We have an event coming up as well, April 17th, and it's got a theater. We got some musicians coming, I write music, and I got somebody that's going to be playing some of my songs that I wrote. and a headline, artists, a guy who did like quite a few years in prison, and is now a recording music artists and, their doing a really good job at it. And so the whole show is going to be bringing to light some of the things, very things that you're talking about. Any kind of like showing people what's going on.

Sara Bennett: [00:25:08] Is that going to be in Washington?

Taylor Conley: [00:25:10] It's going to be in Washington, absolutely April 17th and you're more than welcome. Like we would invite you to come out and even be a speaker at the show if he wanted to, but.

Sara Bennett: [00:25:19] I think I'm a little far, I wonder if you know about something called Die Jim Crow, which is a friend of mine who has been recording people in prison with their music, and it has like a book and it's going to be an album and he's got a lot of stuff going on. I guess. I, you know what, I should send all these links to maybe to your wife or something. So...

Taylor Conley: [00:25:42] Yeah, for sure,

Sara Bennett: [00:25:42] Because I'm sure he, because, because you're a musician, I'm sure he would love to meet you. And there's a huge art exhibition also coming up in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. There's Museum of Modern Art and then they have Museum of Modern Art PF 1. And there's a show that's opening on April 5th called art in the era of mass incarceration that's accompanying a book that's coming out, and most of the artists in that exhibition are either incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.

And then there's a few people like me who are making art around it, who are not formerly incarcerated.

Taylor Conley: [00:26:19] Yeah, I think that that's awesome.

Sara Bennett: [00:26:20] There's a few links I would like to send your way so you guys can look at them too.

Taylor Conley: [00:26:26] Definitely. Yeah, I think that would be great. This is our first event that we're actually hosting. We have a couple of other smaller events that we're going to be doing, and then we would like to continue doing more events, like do a tour of events to be able to display the people's artwork, tell their stories, and give a platform to musicians to perform music. And I wouldn't consider myself a musician. I'm just a songwriter. But, I uh...

Sara Bennett: [00:26:57] Oh just a songwriter, oh you know...

Taylor Conley: [00:27:00] but an artist. Like, I do art too. I paint, I paint and draw. Yeah?

Sara Bennett: [00:27:04] What you guys are doing is really its comprehensive, it's really impressive

Taylor Conley: [00:27:12] Well, thank you, thank you, and I think that the only way to really get the message out there and spread is through media, on a mass scale anyways, otherwise people are never going to get the message in here. So we're trying to make a movie out of the whole project or like a documentary series, and we did our first event, the candlelight vigil for the 1300 people that are scheduled with a sentence that they're going to die in prison. They had speakers, there was a whole bunch of people that showed up and they lit candles for, for all those people. I mean, I'm one of those people and we showed up there and one of my friends, he performed one of my songs and I made a little speech and we got the whole thing on video. So that'll be part of the project. Yeah. I will send over, have you seen the video that the highlight video of it?

Sara Bennett: [00:28:08] I did, it was really good.

Taylor Conley: [00:28:10] Oh, okay. Okay. Awesome. Yeah.

Sara Bennett: [00:28:13] Yeah.

Taylor Conley: [00:28:14] So I think that with that stuff, and then we're going to do this event and this event is probably going to be pretty amazing. The place holds 800 people so hopefully we'll be able to get 800 people there. And uh

Sara Bennett: [00:28:28] That's amazing. Well, you know, people are really, really talking about these issues now and which is very exciting. I'm sure it is to you. It is to me, as I told you, I was a defense lawyer and stopped in 2000 and 2004. Which means that I started in the 80s right? So back then nobody was talking about these issues I mean, not nobody, there were few people who are, who were thinking about these issues. I guess probably all the defense attorneys and the family and the people who were incarcerated, but within the, within the bigger world, nobody was thinking about mass incarceration at all. And now pretty much. Everywhere. I went to an art event yesterday and somebody was doing a dance and they were doing it to a speech by Angela Davis about abolishing prison. I mean, it was so unexpected to me. I mean, I knew the artist. I was like, wow, like this is really, really, going into going out everywhere.

And it was just really great and I do think that we're going to see some changes. I think it's really, really important to focus on people with the lengthy sentences and the life sentences though. What else? ?

Taylor Conley: [00:29:47] Yeah.

Sara Bennett: [00:29:47] That's just really important, It's great. That's really great what you're doing.

Taylor Conley: [00:29:52] People, people don't really want to address that subject, and a lot of it's politics. I think, too. It's like..

Sara Bennett: [00:29:59] No, but what I'm saying it's just you probably will get your 800 people, because people are now caring about it and thinking about it and it's like, you're talking about doing a record and I know somebody who's doing a record and you have a magazine and I know someone else who has a magazine. Like there's always a lot of work going on. Like there's a different art show every single year on governor's Island in New York. I think probably this year coming up is probably gonna be about the seventh and it's called marking time. And it takes place for six weeks and it shows art from, that's been made by people in prison all over the country. I mean, there's just like so much stuff going on that's very exciting and that's like exciting to me to meet you like you're another person but you're in a different state and your, your putting together this work. That's great. It's, it's exciting. I guess.

Taylor Conley: [00:30:52] Well, thank you very much, we already recorded the record, by the way. It's called the Free Taylor Project, and...

Sara Bennett: [00:30:59] Oh, Cool.

Taylor Conley: [00:30:59] I would love to send you over a copy of it if you'd be interested.

Sara Bennett: [00:31:03] That'd be great

Taylor Conley: [00:31:04] Check that out. Yeah,

Sara Bennett: [00:31:07] That's not on your website, I looked through it but I didn't see that

Taylor Conley: [00:31:11] It hasn't been released yet, but it's about the be.

Sara Bennett: [00:31:15] oh okay, cool

Taylor Conley: [00:31:15] So I will definitely get you a copy of that because I'd love for you to check it out , and, like I said, if you want to our next issue comes out end of April. So if we get some stuff from you, some material, we would love to publish it, your photos, writings, whatever it is that you want to, that you want to put in there, we would definitely give you space for that for sure.

Sara Bennett: [00:31:41] Well thanks, that's really generous, thank you.

Taylor Conley: [00:31:45] Absolutely. Absolutely. Like I said, I respect what you're doing 100% because...

Sara Bennett: [00:31:49] Thank you

Taylor Conley: [00:31:51] ...It's something that a lot of people wouldn't touch and you've put in so much into it. I can tell that you've like really put a lot of time and effort and energy and kind of made it, it almost seems like a life's work of yours

Sara Bennett: [00:32:05] Yeah. It kind of is, or it's kind of become that way. I don't know. I think it's just all in all of my different skills and, passion have come together with this project. I mean, I always, I loved practicing criminal law. I've been an attorney. I would, I had a particular way of practicing that was..I think maybe a little bit on the more creative side, but now being able to do it visually, but with having all the background knowledge, it's just, it's a really great way of having a platform that people can respond to. Let's put it that way. I mean that's the nice thing about an art gallery that you're drawing in people who wouldn't ordinarily be drawing. And then their exposed to issues that they haven't yet thought of that. But once they're there, they learn about the issues and then they care about them. And, you know, I think that's one way of many of trying to change policies. I guess that's what I'm trying to do.

Taylor Conley: [00:33:11] Absolutely. A lot of times, people need to physically be there and experience it, and just be able to open their mind a little bit to different concepts.

Sara Bennett: [00:33:26] First people who are locked up are locked away so people don't think about them that much, and if they do, it's very abstract and I say it has to be abstract or we wouldn't treat people the way we do. If the people actually saw like, how people lived inside prison and what they ate and what the work conditions were, and how much they got paid, and that they pay for their phone calls and they pay for their email and they pay for everything. The living conditions that are so bad that people wouldn't put their animal and right. But we do that to human beings because we don't see them.

Taylor Conley: [00:34:01] Well, we wouldn't feed their animals the food we get, that's for sure.

Sara Bennett: [00:34:04] I actually had a pop up exhibition in one of the prisons where I exhibited. In other words, I took the exhibits that had been where I had photographed the women, and the whole prison got to come down and see the photos and that's really awesome. But I actually was given what they called a feed up tray, I don't know if that's what you call it. I got to experience that the food was, it's, it's a little bit hard to describe. I mean, It's a long way away from the lunch that used to get in school. But I think the lunch in school probably looks better than whatever it is that you guys are getting.

Taylor Conley: [00:34:43] To say the least.

Sara Bennett: [00:34:46] Right? Exactly.

Taylor Conley: [00:34:46] I think it's amazing what you're doing. And I definitely appreciate you coming on here and talking to me and sharing what it is that you're doing, what you got going on, and all the cool stuff that you were telling about linking us up to. I think that I really commend you and like I said, I respect what you're doing a lot and the invitation is open if you are available on April 17th we could definitely put you on the show.

Sara Bennett: [00:35:20] Oh thank you, I know I'm not going to be able to make it back to the west coast. That was my first time on the West coast in a really really long time, so I don't think i'm going to be back there for a long time but...

Taylor Conley: [00:35:28] That was really cool that you've been traveling all over the place with this show that you're exhibiting. I know my wife said that she had a great time there and that it was very eye opening and riveting kind of the way that you've displayed what you're doing.

Sara Bennett: [00:35:45] I haven't really traveled. The work has been, actually, it was in Croatian, it's been in India, so it's been around the world, but I have not been around the world with it. This is the first time I went outside of New York to, the exhibition. It was really fun and it was really great to meet your wife and meet with the other family members I met of yours who were supportive, you have a really strong support network and that was really nice to see.

Taylor Conley: [00:36:12] Yeah. I'm fortunate for that and the more people hear and actually stop to listen to the story, the more people get to see what I've been able to accomplish. The more that support that I've been able to get, because when they check it out, and they really take the time to see what it is that you're about, it's like, wow, I support that, this guy does deserve another chance.

Sara Bennett: [00:36:37] Exactly because they see you as a person with real interests with real talents and skills and abilities.

Taylor Conley: [00:36:40] Hey that was so awesome. I really appreciate it, Sara, she's pretty amazing lady, and I really enjoy what she's doing. I think that it's something that's powerful and meaningful. Really, there's not a lot of people that are looking out for the women like that, and especially the lifers

The lifers men or women are a lost and forgotten about group of individuals that were cast away from society, and Sara's really shining some light on that. She's taken her show on the road all the way from New York. She came out to the West coast just recently and was doing a gallery exhibit about, you know, the artwork that she's doing and the stories of the women that, that she was representing. And I think it's just a beautiful thing.

My wife and a couple of other constituents of Designed Conviction, Salty Candace and, and Annie, they, they all went out there with my wife Cecilia, the wife of a lifer, she said that it was really a fun time and eye opening as well, getting to hear the stories of these people. It really puts a humanized face to just otherwise what would be a number lost and forgotten about. Anyways, I really do appreciate you coming out to listen today and also I would like to give a special thanks to our sponsor, Jerry Logan.

He's supposed to be launching his new show, Jerry's Ride's, so you can check that out. jerrysrides.com he's going to be a he's going to be coming out with that very soon. And you know, check out designedconviction.com check out freetaylorproject.com and don't forget to hit us on Instagram @alifeofthelifer.

Send us your questions, comments, any feedback that you may have, and we will get back to you. Alright, have a good day.

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