To my surprise one of our books was recently returned by a reviewer saying, ‘Little point right now, books are not getting to prisoners’. She explained that they are either being refused or held up by security due to the ease with which drugs can be imprinted on paper, so that in many prisons they have been stopped or are being photocopied with inbuilt delay given other priorities. I’ve no way of knowing if this is true or how general, whether just a few establishments or a wider approach. My call to the Ministry of Justice Press Office elicited first a denial, then a maybe and finally a promise to investigate how widespread the problem is. They’ve not yet come back.
Food can impact on a prisoner's behaviour, health and even chance of rehabilitation. Here Helen Sandwell, Project Lead at Food Matters Inside & Out, explains how…
The Food Matters Inside and Out project is run by the charity Food Matters. It aims to change food systems within prisons and, in doing so, enable prisoners to make healthier food choices. The project was piloted at HMP Wandsworth and is currently at HMP High Down.
Various factors need to be in place for an individual to make heathier food choices. Not only do the food choices available to them need to be health-promoting and affordable, but also the person needs to have sufficient knowledge, attitude and intent to eat that food.
Editor Victoria Galligan chaired the speakers' sessions at the recent Custodial Facilities Forum and outlines the networking event which welcomed delegates from across the sector…
The third annual custodial facilities forum took place in November at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire. Organised by Stable Events, the forum gathered both supplier delegates and project delegates, allowing them one-to-one meeting time, the opportunity to network with fellow professionals, and hear from speakers in the field. This was a useful event in which the public and private sector could make vital connections and share ideas.
Rosie Hart, the director of Kairos Women Working Together, discusses with the Custodial Review the work which the small Coventry charity does to support women prisoners at risk of exploitation, including women in prostitution.
Could you outline the work you do with women in prisons?
Kairos Women Working Together (KairosWWT) is a grassroots charity in Coventry supporting women at risk of sexual exploitation, including those caught up in prostitution. We meet our service users through outreach and drop-in sessions that we run, as well as receiving referrals from probation services, prisons that know of our work and from other partner agencies locally.
The Custodial Review editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Sally Treloar, development manager and course facilitator at the Imago Dei Prison Ministry, about plans to open a house for female offenders on their release from prison.
A registered charity, Imago Dei Prison Ministry already works in three prisons offering various courses – including a parenting course – and providing pastoral support, as well as Bible study.
Gethin Jones is an inspirational speaker, advising prison governors and staff on how to really make an impact on prisoners’ lives. And he should know, as he turned his life around after spending time inside for a string of crimes or, as he puts it, having “a 20-year relationship with the criminal justice system”.
Since making the decision to turn his life around at the age of 34, Gethin has worked for Portsmouth City Council’s public health department and credits a number of prison staff members who believed in him – as they fuelled his need to push himself out of a cell.
Editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Gethin about the work he does now with prison staff and also with young offenders. He describes the impetus to change, his own final straw moment, as a time where he had “hit rock bottom, and was bouncing on the bottom of the floor”. And his experience is exactly what puts Gethin in a position perfect for reflection on the running of a prison – clients value his advice so much because of his past.
The continued support from Rolawn during the 2018 show season paid dividends for many of the show gardens at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, with six of its supported gardens scooping medals.
With challenging conditions due to the continued dry weather, one of the benefactors of Rolawn supplying topsoil and Medallion turf was Southend Borough Council’s ‘A Place to Think’ garden, which earned a Silver.
Custodial Review's Steve Mitchell and Wendy Hewitt visited HMP Lowdham Grange, Notts, to find out why it had introduced a permanent patrol dog section. Lowdham Grange is a Category B prison for adult male prisoners with more than four years left on their sentence. It is operated and managed by Serco. It has a capacity of 930 long-term prisoners.
We spoke to Mark Hanson, the prison’s Director, and to Peter Chojnacki, a prison officer with the rank of prison dog handler. Peter’s aspiration to specialise in dog handling began during his initial prison officer training, 12 years ago, when he attended a dog handling demonstration. During his subsequent career Peter took the initiative to learn as many aspects of how prisons are run as possible with a view to being appointed as a dog handler.