IMG E1672 1024x605 - Prisoner Training & Placements


My foot triggers the security lights, which in turn jolts a wee wren from an opening in the eaves of one of our porta cabins. It is tiny and flits low over the ground.

This happens most mornings, I often feel we are together with a couple of hours of quiet time ahead.

Although the wren was possibly quite content in bed!

Frosty and quiet, I have the place to myself, aside from the sleepy wren and a couple of owls now hooting to find each other.

Of all the things I’ve learned, is you must let some stuff go and work out what is the important stuff to hang on to.

We have 14 people here on placements this week, an average of 7 per day. 60% are just released from prison after serving time inside. 40% are on a community sentence, most with a concurrent suspended sentence because of the serious nature of the original crime.

Understanding complex lives is complex.

It is hard not to get drawn into judging what seems like chaotic living…

  • Homeless and sofa surfing. So, just got a dog.
  • Did somebody steal from one of the team?
  • Are they using drugs?
  • Are they drinking?

All of the above occur for a reason, no doubt involved and muddled, but there will be a reason. It just takes some unravelling…

The key to our supportive working is to use empathy, to be genuine and to have unconditional positive regard for each person.

To be listened to, to be understood, is a significant thing.

Enabling people to accept and embrace change is a remarkable thing.

Believing in people is essential.

So, focusing on people for who they are today and seeing tomorrow’s potential means you must let some stuff go.

As I’m sure the little wren would agree, it’s let go of my annoying morning disturbances and instead finds enjoyment in our being together in that moment.

I do.


26th January 2023