paragraph
Sue Wheatcroft, blog author of 'My experience of mental health in prison', in red top with the rest of the Mental Health Together committee

The Custodial Review invites Sue Wheatcroft, a former inmate with a borderline personality disorder, to talk about mental health in prison. Here, Sue highlights the lack of resources available to prisoners who need mental health support and explains what she did about the problem on her release…

At the age of 55, I went to prison for the first time. I take full responsibility for the actions that led me there. However, I strongly believe that if I had received help from the mental health services, things would not have got so bad. I was desperate but received no help because I was ‘too ill to treat’. My story is not uncommon, and the more people who highlight what happens, the more chance there will be of changing attitudes and transforming the lives of people with mental illness.

paragraph
Lacie completed The Forward Trust prison programme

The Custodial Review spoke to Alex Viccars, Senior Research Officer at The Forward Trust, about the work the organising does to tackle substance addiction in prisons – including female prison HMP Send…

The Forward Trust (formerly RAPt) has been empowering people to break the cycles of addiction and crime and move forward with their lives for over 25 years. We currently deliver substance misuse services in 18 UK prisons and two community services, reaching over 15,000 service users each year. Peer role modelling and lived experience of crime and addiction sit at the heart of our treatment approach – with 1 peer supporter employed for every 4 staff members, and 30% of our workforce are in recovery from addiction.

paragraph
TempRocket - Andrew Johnston

It has arguably never been more difficult to find good temp workers thanks to a frustratingly inefficient and expensive recruitment process. However, help is at hand, says TempRocket’s Andrew Johnston…

It’s no secret that finding the right people to add to your team cannot only be a very tough task, but also annoyingly time consuming and expensive, whether you’re recruiting for the police, prison service or customer and immigration services. And this is especially the case when it comes to tracking down good temporary workers, because the process on this side of the recruitment sector is particularly inefficient.

paragraph
Step Out Stay Out Pete Bell

The Custodial Review editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Pete Bell, the founder of the Step Out Stay Out programme within prisons. Here, Pete describes how sport turned his life around and set him on a path to help others to rehabilitate… 

Pete Bell isn’t just a football coach. He is also a mentor to the inmates he works with and can empathise with them as he has spent time in prison on the other side of the cell door.

From 1990, Pete served time in the Criminal Justice System and says, “I racked up 10 convictions, I was drinking heavily and had been through a custody battle – and then my son passed away. He was two.

“What turned things around for me was when I faced my final sentence five weeks after my son died – I was expecting to get around five years in prison.

“But the judge’s humility towards me meant that he could see that sending me to prison was not right for me.”

paragraph
Swasie Turner book - When One Door Closes

Outspoken, outgoing and outstanding when it comes to raising cash for charity, Swasie Turner MBE tells his tale of overcoming adversity in his autobiography, When One Door Closes.

As a Sergeant on patrol with an officer on Merseyside, Swasie was ruthlessly run over by a motorcyclist who sped away from the scene. Swasie was left with life-changing injuries, wheelchair-bound and struggling to cope with his beloved wife’s illness. He was plunged into the depths of despair on the death of his wife, but emerged more determined than ever to devote his life to fund-raising for others in need.

paragraph
Introducing GB3 Limited

GB3 Limited is a Technology Solutions company based in Preston delivering Strategy, Systems and Support. Starting life 5 years ago with only 7 employees, GB3 Limited has grown rapidly to a team of over 40 staff, expanding in to Cyber Security and Software Development.

paragraph
PFEW discuss welfare, demand and capacity

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has today (21 August) launched its second officer welfare, demand and capacity survey, the findings of which will give a full picture of the main challenges officers face across the 43 forces.

 Importantly, the survey will allow valuable comparisons to be made from previous results, giving police officers the opportunity to provide their opinion on current welfare, demand and capacity issues.

paragraph
Ministry of Justice 10 prisons project

The Ministry of Justice to invest £10m into 10 of the most challenging prisons, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“The Governors of the 10 prisons will be pleased to have a little more money, wherever it comes from. But we have been here before. In 2016 Michael Gove set up six reform prisons that would pave the way for others to follow."

paragraph
The PFEW Leaver’s survey

Nearly 2,000 police officers voluntarily quit the service over the past 12 months – an increase of 31% over the past four years*.

Numbers leaving each year are rising and now a new leavers’ survey by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) provides greater insight into the reasons why. It showed:

  • More than half (52.5%) cited morale as their reason for leaving
  • 43.8% said it was the impact of the job on their family/ personal life and 43.3% on their psychological health
  • And a staggering 69.4% felt the police service had failed in its obligation to provide pay increases to maintain their standard of living

In addition, 64.5% said they would never consider re-joining the police service after they had left.