wooden heart rotated - Prisoner Training & Placements


Feels like we are all ‘keeping-on-keeping-on’.

LandWorks is still open, slightly reduced numbers to maintain social distancing but open and supporting around 8 -10 placements per week, as well as graduates that need support.

Have you noticed that dates (calendar dates, not dried fruit) suddenly seem more important, more heightened? When did lockdown start… when will it (ever) end etc.?

I’ve noticed people here adopting new ways to measure their lives, talking in a way they haven’t always before. Using their time spent in jail as a measure… suddenly it seems more relevant. Perhaps helpful in just knowing how to shut down and get through it with a fixed date as your goal.

Then there are the memories (seemingly triggered by lockdowns) about other missed dates, kids’ birthdays, anniversaries and Christmases lost by time spent inside.

Some of our community placements are managing to ‘date’! Meeting on social media, then followed up by a walk on the beach, or so they tell me.

Courts have started sitting again, trying to deal with a massive backlog of cases (approx. 450,000). Community sentences are seemingly more common, as judges try to avoid custodial tariffs to keep offenders from overcrowding the prisons that are having to implement Covid-19 precautions.

Last week the date was reached for the first prison vaccinations to start, mirroring the community vaccination priority list. So, most vulnerable prisoners first, better news.

Our daily lunches are going well, we all gather in our outdoor, ‘covid-safe’ tent with its massive wood-burner keeping the winter cold out. Hot food and plenty of chat…

In a recent conversation (about dates) one man revealed his top tip for remembering his children’s birthdays and names. He simply had the relevant names and dates tattooed on various parts of his body.

He has 9 children!


P.S. If you haven’t seen it already, here is a link to a great ‘Inside LandWorks’ article published on the Devon Live website recently.

11th February 2021