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Creative Writing: A Route to Rehabilitation by Mark Humphries

When the author of this document was recalled to custody he realised that there was an untapped creativity among his peers. Men and women in prison with lots of time on their hands, and the age old prison issue of what to do when banged-up. He had always had an interest in writing stories and poetry and during his work as a peer-mentor at a local prison in Norfolk he started to pen his first novel. Read more

Education, The Way to Rehabilitation by Mark Humphries

Prison can raise many images in our minds. While you might not have given prisons a great deal of thought, I can assure you that when you hear about them on the news, or read about them in your newspaper an image or two appears in you mind. It might be that you see Ronnie Barker in Porridge, or you might have the media presented images of holiday centres, or places of continued rioting going through your mind. Read more

Prison Monitors: “They’re the old gits that visit, right?” by Mark Leech

Four years ago, I was invited to take part in a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) review designed to reform the long-discredited system of Independent Monitoring in our prisons.

I genuinely expected this vital review would finally bring the crucial ‘root and branch’ reform to prison monitoring that so many, myself included, had spent years calling for – looking back four years now, and at the new system of governance that as a result of the review that comes into effect today [1st Nov], I really should have known better. Read more

Let Them Out And Throw Away The Key by Michael Irwin

“Prisoner (22) dies at Northern Ireland Jail” – This is a minor line in The Belfast Telegraph today: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/prisoner-22-dies-at-northern-ireland-jail-37266751.html

My first reaction is choking back the tears, sadness, revulsion and anger. Who’s my anger directed it and why should I care. The word ‘care’ is highly relevant here. The sanitised bog standard reply by the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) is almost predictable as I’ve heard it so many times. Read more