Lived experience harnessed for benefit of others in prisons

Lived experience harnessed for benefit of others in prisons

We are working in HMPs Oakwood and Brixton to train people in these prisons to gain skills in offering advice and guidance. A key feature of this work is using their lived experience of the criminal justice system to guide and support others and raise awareness of the benefits of this approach.  

Through the Government’s Future Skills Programme, we are delivering courses, delivering on average one course a month, designed to upskill people in prison to use their lived experience of the criminal justice system in roles they are passionate about.  These will include areas of typically unmet need in the prison estate such as housing, managing finances, and youth violence.  

Our course has been carefully designed to provide participants with technical and non-technical knowledge, to ensure they are equipped to enter roles in the community with a wide range of employers in the voluntary and statutory sectors.  

The first cohort have now completed a course and have fed back on the knowledge, skills and resources that they have gained.  

“The most useful element of this course for me is that I am taking away mentoring skills that will enable me to help others and give something back”.

Brendan Ross, London Skills and Employment Manager at St Giles Trust, said:  

The courses have got off to a fantastic start and have been well received by the participants who have trained through the initial one. People in the criminal justice system continue to face real barriers in gaining employment yet getting a job is one of the single biggest factors in reducing the likelihood of someone returning to prison.

“As a leading employer of people who have been in the criminal justice system, we know that they make excellent employees who can bring value, diversity and quality to an organisation, particularly those who are supporting people who are facing adversity and disadvantage.”

If you would like to employ a highly committed new colleague please contact :  

London (Brixton cohort) : Jamie Loyn  

Midlands (Oakwood cohort): Andrea Payne 

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