It is the 24 hour a day radio station with a captive audience.

Barbed Wireless is run by prisoners for prisoners at Scotland's most populated jail and is now one of it's biggest success stories.

Broadcast seven days a week the station provides a mixture of information and music for Barlinnie's inmates.

Set up 12 years ago their shows are produced, researched and presented by a team of seven prisoners led by veteran prison officer Barry Richardson.

Inmates can access the station through the television sets in their cells.

Barbed Wireless broadcasts three programmes at 7am,10am and 5pm, which are then repeated round the clock.

Prisoners can even make requests for their favourite songs and tunes by filling out forms which are collected each day from their cells.

Barry says that the information part of the broadcasts is a vital component, particularly for new prisoners.

He added: "People can learn about addiction and mental health services, how to arrange a visit or contact their lawyer or simply find out when the gym is open."

The Story of Barlinnie: Find all the articles in the series here

Over the past few years a number of celebrities have been interviewed by the prisoners - who also have their own DJ names.

They include former ex Rangers striker Kris Boyd, former Celtic manager Neil Lennon, and best selling author Martina Cole.

Eastenders star turned documentary film maker Ross Kemp did an advert for Barbed Wireless on one visit to Barlinnie.

Former prisoners are often invited back to talk about their experiences and the jail's Governor Michael Stoney has taken part in question and answer sessions.

A wide variety of tunes are played on Barbed Wireless from dance and hip hop to music designed to help prisoners sleep at night.

The prisoners who make the programmes do an eight hour shift in the prison's radio studio from 8:30 am to 4:30pm five days a week.

The Herald: DJ Geo, live from Barlinnie on Barbed Wireless Radio (Colin Mearns/The Herald)DJ Geo, live from Barlinnie on Barbed Wireless Radio (Colin Mearns/The Herald) (Image: Colin Mearns/The Herald)

The aim is to prepare them for a life outside of prison and get them in to the routine of a normal working day.

Barry added: "The most important part of what we do is teaching the prisoners skills which are vital in the outside world - particularly social skills."

An organisation called Creative Change Collective also comes into the prison two days a week and teach the prisoners video making and editing skills.

There is also a link up with Fife College in Dunfermline who give prisoners the chance to get academic qualifications to go alongside their practical broadcasting skills.

Two prisoners told the Herald how working on Barbed Wireless had changed them for the better.

George, 46, known as DJ Geo, and James, 36, known as DJ Woodstock have been regular contributors over the years during their various stints in Barlinnie.

The Herald: DJs Woodstock and Geo in the Barbed Wireless Radio studio in Barlinnie's resource centre (Colin Mearns/The Herald)DJs Woodstock and Geo in the Barbed Wireless Radio studio in Barlinnie's resource centre (Colin Mearns/The Herald) (Image: Colin Mearns/The Herald)

They say taking part in the programmes is good for their mental health and helps them through their sentences.

They are due for release shortly and hope it will be their last time behind bars.

Both present magazine style programmes with music, health and fitness advice and comedy routines as well as jail information.

They also do weekend dance specials and Battle of the Bands features such as the Rolling Stones versus Oasis.

James is hoping that he can use his newfound broadcasting skills to find similar work outside once he completes a 15 month sentence.

The Herald: A prisoner's request, posted to the team at Barbed Wireless (Colin Mearns/The Herald)A prisoner's request, posted to the team at Barbed Wireless (Colin Mearns/The Herald) (Image: Colin Mearns/The Herald)

He added: "I have a three year old daughter and I want to give her the best life I can."

In our recent three day special series on Barlinnie we reported on how one of the former prison DJ's, Jordan Robertson, had turned his life around thanks to Barbed Wireless.

Jordan, now 31, had been 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 Barlinnie that he finally saw the light.

Read Jordan's story: "I remember thinking this is Barlinnie. This is it."

He joined 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.

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

Jordan said: "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 successful career."