MENTORING IN PRISON

Such a lot being wasted, fantastic resource available at no cost which could have significant effects on re-offending etc..
Such a simple idea too, would need careful management but what results could be possible.
I am still in touch with a guy I mentored in 1991. He got in touch when he saw my new (at the time) Twitter account to tell me he had managed to stay out of trouble and all is well in his life and thanking me for my help in guiding him to sorting himself out.
Prisoners should be helped and encouraged to mentor fellow prisoners whilst inside, such a simple idea but with fantastic potential.
Obviously would need to be carefully managed but that is hardly rocket science.
Attitudes must change with regard to offenders and ex offenders using their experience to help and mentor others in the same situation.
In 1996 on leaving prison I started a voluntary group helping other ex offenders. I had lots of encouragment from individuals and some churches and in particular the Salvation Army at local level.
The problem I had was with the probation service and NACRO who did everything they could to prevent me operating. The Probation Service madethe fcomment in the local press that what I was doing wasn’t needed and that they were quite capable of providing the necessar service. Plus and I found this astonishing, a probation supported NACRO scheme actually stated that I had ‘stolen’ some of their best clients. The mind boggles!!!

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MORE PRISON PROBLEMS

Reported today that specialists have been sent into Brinsford and Oakwood to try and solve problems there, problems which incidentally Chris Grayling says dont exist.
One day someone will wake up and realise it isn’t specialists that are needed but a total change in attitudes. Things will only improve when we go back to the days when all prisons were in the public sector and when there were small local manageable prisons staffed by highly trained officers familiar with their locality and its offenders.
Prison factories don’t work. The only people they benefit are the shareholders of the private companies who run them using staff who receive the minimum of training and are paid at rates fara below those in the public sector.
We are all at fault, we all look down on prisoners and more importantly we pigeon hole them rather than treating them as individuals. Prisoners are people not just numbers.

BACK AGAIN

Sorry I haven’t been very active. I have been suffering from a serious illness and have’t had the energy to do blogs. Almost back to normal though now so get ready for more to come.
My book is due out this month so there will be plenty about that and also Chris Grayling and his minions don’t seem to have learned anything and still continueto manage this ‘invisible’ criis in the prison system. I don’t suppose they will ever learn. Whilever profits are prioritised over people nothing will change.
It’s a real shame that ex offenders aren’t invited to give input to any debate about the penal sysem. A great deal could be learned.
Hopefully shortly I plan to do a lengthy blog about how Christianity and Christians could have a truly positive effect on the whole penal system, it wouldn’t be hard. The Christian Community could do so much good in societ generally but so many members of the family seem so intent on keeping their Christianity to their own small group of friends that it sometimes surprises me that we make any progres.
THere, my little whinge for today. Will chat again very soon.
Go in peace, go in joy, go in love.