IMG E5339 pumpkin 1024x576 - Prisoner Training & Placements


Today you find me struggling into my Spiderman suit (I’m trying to create a bit of a Halloween theme for this blog), it’s not a real suit, it’s imaginary, in fact it’s more an assortment of ‘Spidey senses’ that I encourage all my team to develop.

This is essential when trying to work out what exactly is going on. In what could seem to be a very straight-forward explanation of a perfectly reasonable life story. But ‘spookily’ there’s so often more to it…

Here’s an example, not a particularly scary one, more just day-to-day stuff… It’s packing up time at LandWorks and one young lad is just removing his muddy work boots.

“That’s great Chris, I love it here… never ad a pair of work boots… never worked me!”

Ohhh, I’m getting a nice warm feeling, what a good wholesome, hopeful thing to say.

Hmmm hang on, a little Spidey sensor is going off…! Now he’s putting on trainers and a coat that’s worth probably more than all the pumpkins in Totnes (and there’s a lot)!

So quick note to self. Just be careful here Chris, a lot of money versus no income… Best not be too cynical, but keep my Spidey sensors turned on, and remember in all this, hope is essential.

It’s a balance.

The next day he’s talking about disappearing. How he was so used to being ghosted (prison term for abruptly vanishing). He’s fighting a strong desire to stop being so visible in the ‘straight world’ (non-criminal world) and just seamlessly disappear.

That’s a common feeling for a lot of our guys, they’re just not sure of how ‘to be’ in the ‘straight world’.

Sometimes folk at LandWorks can just silently disappear, they just go, only to remerge days or a week or two later.

When I’ve asked about these departures, this sudden ghosting. The explanation emerges that it is akin to the prison experience, unexpectedly just vanishing.

They often tell me it is hope that brings them back out of this ghost world. Hope that life will be better. Hope that they can be a better version of themselves. Hope that it will be okay.

So, when things aren’t going well the need for hope is more important than ever. The need to hang onto something that is good and wholesome. This is when LandWorks becomes even more important. It is a safe route back into the scary ‘straight world’.

Right, I’m off to have a ‘Spidey’ chat with myself about the complexities of balancing Hope, Trust, and Cynicism.


3rd November 2022