Back in 2016, we ran two disclosure workshops at HMP Wormwood Scrubs and Pentonville. This was because the organisations working in resettlement felt that individuals in prison were often unaware of where to go to get information and advice about the long term effects of a criminal record and that workshops dealing with all aspects of disclosure would be beneficial to anybody nearing release.
Following the success of these two workshops, we managed to secure a small amount of funding to run a pilot project for a year delivering workshops in prisons/probation offices in Kent.
Problems with staffing across the prison estate meant that not all Kent prisons were able to take advantage of the workshops but, feedback from those that did, was extremely positive.
“I really enjoyed hearing about the different things to do with disclosure which isn’t explained when you’re in prison. It was really helpful for me as I’m being released very soon”.
Mr A, HMP Elmley
Advertising the workshops on our website created interest from other prisons, both male and female, and in 2017/18 we did a total of 10 workshops right across the country. Workshops were delivered to the main prison population as well as to vulnerable prisoners units where the people on them often find themselves excluded from these types of events. Where necessary, the workshops were adapted to meet the specific needs of the audience.
“I’m definitely more informed after the workshop. The speaker was engaging and knew her material in depth. The amount of content gave me additional things to think about and it’s good to know what help is available upon release.”
Mr B, HMP Moorland
We’ve also delivered the workshop to individuals through organisations in the community.
“I feel a lot more positive now, a criminal record isn’t necessarily the end of the world. The trainer was friendly, knowledgeable and non-judgemental and I was comfortable asking questions about my own personal situation.”
Ms J, Gravesend Probation
Our intention with these workshops is to not only provide information and advice but to provide an opportunity for attendees to share their own experiences and ask specific questions relating to their own situation. We’ve found that by limiting the number of attendees, this gives everybody the chance to take part.
“There was informal questions and answers throughout and the women were encouraged to join in. They were able to clarify the information given and their understanding of it.”
Staff member at HMP Askham Grange
Although the funding we had to run the workshops in Kent has ended, we’re continuing to run the workshops in partnership with other organisations where our costs can be covered.
Written by Debbie Sadler, Advice Manager
If you’re interested in booking a workshop for individuals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01622 230705.
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