He is a former Barlinnie inmate who says the prison is to thank for turning his life around.

At one stage Jordan Robertson was going nowhere fast, caught up in a spiral of petty crime and drugs, having been in and out of jail since he was 17.

It was during his second spell in the ‘Big Hoose’ and third time in prison that he finally saw the light. He joined the prison radio station, Barbed Wireless, and learned production, editing and presenting skills.

Now he runs his own company, Sumboy Productions, helping businesses promote themselves through social media, jingles, adverts and podcasts.

After leaving Barlinnie in 2021 Jordan has since returned several times to speak with prisoners on how they can change their lives in the same way.

He even starred in a reality TV show about life behind bars last year with former Eastenders star Sid Owen, called Banged Up.

Jordan, who lives in the Govan area of Glasgow, remembers his first day in Barlinnie as if it was yesterday.

Read the full series: Barlinnie: the story of Scotland's super-prison

It was November, 2015, and he had been recalled to prison for a breach of his parole conditions, having served a four year sentence for an attempted murder.

Jordan said: "I remember walking into to C Hall and being taken aback by the size of the place.

"The distance from the ground floor to the ceiling was massive. I was shocked. There was also the noise and the hustle and bustle.

"I remember thinking this is Barlinnie. This is it."

Jordan's previous experience of prison was at Polmont Young Offenders Institution, near Falkirk, where he had served his term for the attempted murder. There, the atmosphere was more relaxed and laid back.

Jordan added: "Things were much more serious in Barlinnie, particularly the relationships with the staff.

"In Barlinnie there was always the threat of violence. It was like stepping back into the 1980's. I felt I was in a time warp."

Jordan added: "My impression was of people traumatised by what they were experiencing in Barlinnie, not just the prisoners but also the prison officers.

“Most of the prisoners were caught up in a cycle of drink, drugs and petty offending. It reeked of desperation and hopelessness."

Jordan was sent back to Barlinnie in May, 2021 for a second spell after being caught with a knife.

He was given a further term of 14 months and then released after serving four months on a home detention curfew which required him to wear an electronic tag.

The Herald: During his second Barlinnie term he joined the prison library and began working on Barbed Wireless.

He added: "I was devastated to be back in Barlinnie - this time in B Hall. The regime was a lot worse and a lot harder because of Covid restrictions.

"I definitely found the second term harder but this time I managed to channel my time behind bars positively.

“Many of the skills I gained at Barbed Wireless, I have been able to take with me to the outside world."

Jordan then added: "Being sent back to Barlinnie was probably the best thing that happened to me as I got so much out of my second time there.

"It was a challenge to come up with new ideas and content each day for radio. You had to learn just to knuckle down and get on with it.

"I have now been able to turn what I learned in prison into a career." 

Jordan is optimistic about the new prison and would be happy to go there - as he does to Barlinnie - and pass on his experiences to the inmates.

He added: "I have a lot I can offer.

"Barlinnie is well past it’s original purpose, particularly with two to a cell. It is falling to bits. You look at it and it just fills you with despair.

Read more: Barlinnie: From beacon of prison reform to notorious superjail

"There is only so much they can do for prisoners in Barlinnie, though they are doing their best. It is a 19th century prison built for punishment and hard labour and they have realised it is not working."

Last year Jordan appeared alongside TV stars and an ex-Tory MP in a four-part reality TV prison documentary series on Channel 4.

Celebrities were locked up with former prisoners for eight days in a decommissioned jail, HMP Shrewsbury, to find out what life is really like behind bars.

The show also featured actor Tom Rosenthal, Gogglebox star Marcus Luther, singer Hrvy, newspaper columnist Peter Hitchens and former Conservative MP Neil Parish.

Jordan was approached after being spotted by a TV producer performing songs on TikTok.

He still keeps in touch with the people that he met including Peter Hitchens and Neil Parish.

Jordan said: "It was just like being back in prison. I felt as if I was doing a sentence and had to remind myself that I could walk out. It was too real at times.”