MY LIVED EXPERIENCE: How an upper middle class white boy goes to jail, why and how he ends up back there

Mr Dean Lloyd

Nineteen years ago I was sentenced to 4 years in prison for the crime of robbery in company. In this paper I share my lived experience of prison and my struggle of reintegration back into the community, even as a member of the most privileged demographic.

My presentation will be through the lens of my own lived experience, and informed by my last 5 years of working with people recently released or close to release, as well as my [post-release?] education (Diploma of Community Services and Graduate Certificate in Counselling).

My paper will address a number of issues including:

  • The limitations of the current punitive system to effect change;
  • My challenges in becoming a productive member of society;
  • How a prison friendship led to my career change into the community sector;
  • My idealistic dream to secure employment in Corrective Services NSW to impact and disrupt the system for change from the inside. The deflating reality of that.
  • How I came so close to achieving my ultimate dream – the inspiration for my career change. A recent realisation that what I am doing may be assisting the current system to remain the same.

Ultimately I want to discuss my experience of a 4 year sentence as a life sentence.


Dean is a 45 year old white man, who has lived and worked amongst the most privileged and the most downtrodden of our society. From the highs of property and prestige, to the depths of hell battling a heroin addiction that led to a suicide attempt, his unique lived experience illuminates the very human face of addiction and criminality.

After many years of working on his health and wellbeing, he has come to see value in his journey, and is willing to share his insights into being incarcerated. Dean will discuss the long shadow that his incarceration still casts on his life many years later, and offer perspectives on what ‘corrections’ actually means.

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