“I feel a bit ashamed to be honest, but I’ve been really looking at myself, it is me saying yeah I take responsibility.” Bob, January 2018
There is a pathway of change at LandWorks. Part of this journey is understanding that change is unlikely to occur until an offender takes responsibility for their past actions and lifestyle.
This can take time. It needs a trusting supportive environment.
Such an environment is almost the exact opposite of most current prison conditions in Britain.
In 1990, the then Director General of the Prison Service said: “The removal of overcrowding is, in my view, an indispensable pre-condition of sustained and universal improvement in prison conditions.”
Since 1990 the prison population has doubled from 42,000 to around 85,000 today.
Not surprising, then, when today’s headline news informs us of the horrendous conditions in Britain’s prisons.
Daily at LandWorks the lads tell us of a prison struggling to cope, as suicides, self-harm, drugs and violence all increase.
Prison staff morale and staff numbers are nationally very low.
So, perhaps before we can have meaningful change in the prison system, society needs to do the same as Bob…. take responsibility.
At present it seems we are trying to build our way out of the overcrowding problem.
However, the construction programme currently underway will not relieve pressure until around 2022 and based on projected prison population figures we will then need to embark on another prison building programme in 2026.
The question is surely more fundamental…
We need to rethink who goes to prison, and for how long?
“I’m not going back to prison; LandWorks has helped me change my life. I should have come here and not been sent to prison.” Bob, January 2018