Posts Tagged ‘prison’

“The men are all talking about this on the wings.” Here we are in prison and Will was telling me what he’d heard. He was on the Sycamore Tree victim awareness course but had had to miss Ray and Vi Donovan telling their story.  Of the assault on their two sons and murder of one of them,  Chris Donovan.  Will had heard all this second-hand, but it still amazed him.

Dartmoor therapyWhy?  Brutal assaults like on the Donovan lads are alas, not rare.  Forgiveness by victims isn’t unheard of.  What surprised Will and the men on the wings – was the Donovan’s willingness to come into HMP Slade and tell their story.  To tell it at length, sharing their sorrows and tears.  And then listen with warmth and compassion to the prisoner’s own stories.



Glad to be in prison

Posted: 22 November 2017 in On the Pilgrim's Road, Prisons
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PH-Prison-Service.jpgBarry* stood up in the Chapel service. “I’m glad to be in prison”. General muttering from the other men. “No, I am. I would be dead by Christmas if not.  I’m a long term drug addict and I’ve been told that my heart won’t last this way.  I’ve now got a chance to get sorted.”  The Chaplain had just asked if anyone had anything they’d like to thank God for during the week, at which Barry was up immediately.


The Crime Makes The Man?

Posted: 12 March 2017 in Prisons
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Chris Donovan

The late Chris Donovan

Like an Ian McEwan novel, one single event changes lives, utterly, forever.  But this is not fiction.  Two young men, brothers Chris and Phil go out to see their sister after a hard day at work.  They don’t come home that night.  One never comes back.

Chris and Phil were walking along a main road on their way, when they came face to face with a group of around fourteen youngsters, male and female. With no prior warning, no conversation, the boys started to punch, pushing the brothers to the ground.  Kicking, stamping on their heads. Phil was unconscious with a broken nose.  Chris unconscious was left deliberately in the main road. Cars swerved to avoid, but not all could.  Chris was hit by car and his mangled body dragged 40 feet down the road.  Chris died in hospital. Phil’s injuries still impact his life, even after all this time.  Chris’s body was so badly damaged that the mortician had to strap the body like an Egyptian mummy. (more…)