13th Oct 2018: Prison and Dehumanisation; Film Screening and Talks on Crime, Prison and Us
Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 2pm and the event starts from 2.30pm. Come along for a bite of food, a film screening and discussion on prison and dehumanisation…
Title of talk:
Prison and Dehumanisation – film screening and talks on crime, prison and us
Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:
- Film screening
- Discussion on rehabilitation and the prison system
- Discussion on reform and rehabilitation
A few paragraphs on your subject:
Prison and Dehumanisation – film screening and talks on crime, prison and us. Screening of award-winning prison documentary and talks by the director of Injustice, Tabitha Wilkins from Prison Rehabilitation and Alex Dunedin Ragged University. After a whirlwind roadshow of screenings across the UK the controversial documentary film Injustice will be screened at St John’s Church Hall on 13th October 2018.
At the moment there are 80,000 prisoners in England and Wales and more than 7,000 in Scotland, but who are these people and what happens to them?
Around half of prisoners have mental health issues, half have addition problems, nearly two thirds were unemployed, and nearly half were excluded from school as children. Each year in English and Welsh prisons are 40,000 assaults each year, with nearly a death a day in prison and a suicide on average every three days.
Prisons are not holiday camps!
Nor do prisons reduce crime – around half of people released from prison reoffend within the first year. People released from prison are given £46 to survive and face enormous difficulties in finding accommodation and employment on release, with homelessness and unemployment often compounding the problems that led them to prison in the first place.
There are around 10 million people with convictions in the UK at the moment, leading us to ask – if the prison system doesn’t reduce crime or rehabilitate people, what’s the point of it?
Ultimately we are locked into a prison system that the public and media promote as a system of punishment and vengeance against those who have made mistakes. Finding a way out of this mess is key to creating a safer society for all of its members. Yet successive governments seem beholden to the press narrative about crime and punishment, which in the past 300 years has never succeeded in achieving its stated aims.
Governmental inaction means that crime rates continue to be high, people who’ve committed crimes are as likely as ever to be excluded from society and driven into further criminal activity and in the mean time the public is being failed. We must address the question of crime and punishment as a society.
Outside England and Wales there have been successful initiatives address this perennial problem, whether by creating better societies in the first place, or creating a system that prioritises reform over harm. This even will provide and open space to listen and speak on the issues that affect us all.
The award-winning film Injustice investigates the prison and criminal justice system, interviewing ex- prisoners, campaigners and academics to shine a light on this dark zone of our society, asking who the prisoners are, how the criminal justice system treats them, what happens in prison and what life is like on release. The Prison Rehab Company and Dr Wood join the panel discussion to report on their work with prisoners and give insight to the reality of the prison system.
A few paragraphs about you:
Lee Salter is the director of Injustice
Lee Salter is a film maker, writer and researcher. After his 15-year academic career came crashing to a half with his 2016 conviction, he immersed himself in the worlds of the fellow convicts he found himself among. Taking notes of each story he encountered he began writing about the lifeworld of people with convictions, and began making contacts with a range of ex prisoners. Having made 3 feature documentaries in the style of Third Cinema he interviewed the “ex-prisoner” Gethin Jones while making a film to help launch his consultancy Unlocking Potential, and followed the leads he generated, which eventually led to the production of the documentary Injustice.
Tabitha Wilkins is the founder of the Prison Rehab Company
My name is Tabitha and I am the “Prison Rehabilitation Coordinator”. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades, and have had many job roles over the years! I have taught young offenders, facilitated addiction groups, managed community order offenders and worked in bail hostels with prison leavers. I have been involved with the homeless community for the last 8 years, and am also a qualified social worker – currently practicing in a child protection team. I have personally experienced a variety of challenging circumstances throughout my life, and feel that these struggles have allowed me to become a resilient, empathetic practitioner who can work with people from any walk of life without judgement.
I am passionate about making real, meaningful changes to the lives of those affected by the criminal justice system, and want to be part of a motion that flips the current prison approach on its head. Services are buckling under the funding cuts and lack of resources, and I would like to introduce plans that can change the way prison staff, agencies and charities work together in order to achieve real and sustainable results for prisoners and victims of crime. Attitudes towards those committing crime require robust challenge and reflective practice to aid movement towards a cohesive change culture, but more on that later! I am a professional chameleon, and enjoy adapting ways of working to fit the individual receiving the service, (rather than forcing them to comply with generic interventions), and hope to show people that standardised practice can be safely shaken up in order to produce results.
I am passionate about social justice issues which arise around the criminal justice system as it stands. Not is all well in paradise with the rise of disaster capitalism and the privatisation of prison services we are seeing exploitation of the poorest and most vulnerable in society – as Professor Lesley McAra says “The criminal justice system in effect, curates its own client group”. What right to reply do people have who are poorly represented by the law ? Why are the most wealthy not being held to account like the rest of society ? Why is retribution the message which seems to overwhelmingly infuse the behaviour and actions of the criminal justice system ? Why are prejudiced and incorrect stereotypes perpetuated by the institutions of our country ? Is it ever acceptable to dehumanise people ? These are a small part of the questions which fleet through my mind. I personally am invested in these issues as they have effected me and the communities which I have lived in.
What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?
What are your weblinks?
Website – www.injustice-film.com
Twitter – @injusticedoc
Facebook – /injusticedocumentary