Posts Tagged ‘rehabilitation’


Old girl Liz in old nick Newgate

I was handed a bag of cocaine this week.  Stuff that was being smuggled into prison, and in this case caught before sale. (I didn’t keep it). Cocaine, spice, mobile phones, even fast food.  Thrown over prison walls.  Smuggled it.  Or brought in by a few corrupt staff.  Prisoners – crooked and unredeemable?  And today an acquaintance piled it on.

Bill, aren’t your prisoners pulling the wool over your eyes when you go in?  Don’t you feel that they are conning you? Aren’t they just seeking to get “a good report” back to the prison authorities?


prisoners eyesWhen I led the prayers last Sunday in a prison, several of the guys just stared at me, a bit surprised at what was being prayed.  Not hostile.  Just thinking something new.

The theme of the service was getting believers to hear the call of God to play a special part.  And why not for Christian prisoners too?  Does God’s calling get shut out be the high walls and barbed wire??  Cannot Christian convicts, who are repentant of past crimes, but still have to do the sentence, have a calling here?  Perhaps a specific one for a specific period?  But calling all the same. When inside. For inside.


Nick Hardwick

Nick Hardwick, retiring Chief Inspector

Category A prisoners talk of freedom – while still inside.  This morning, Radio 4 broadcast the morning worship service from HMP Long Lartin. You can find it on .  It was positive, and considering these are Cat A guys, who have done the very worst, it was quite something.  A fairly trad service, but listen to the prisoners. For instance, hear the prisoner who murdered a man, and after 20 years of substance misuse, in the last couple of years is turning his life around. A sweet aroma

However, much that comes up from prisons does not smell of roses.  Nick Hardwick, just (more…)

WelbyJustin Welby gets banged up for crimes against secularism? Not this time. He was in HMP Brixton yesterday, along with 120 guests as a guest of Prison Fellowship to talk about restorative justice, victim awareness and prisoner support.


Jeering crowd

Everybody laughed when I told them
I wanted to follow you, I wanted to follow you

Everybody grinned they teased me bad
God, Jesus, Bible, I must be effing mad
Everybody laughed till they were blue
They didn’t believe your words were true
Would cost me everything
Right now, this life’s not worth anything


Victim Awareness courses in prison? This one – Sycamore Tree course has an impact because of the personal contact between prisoners and the course facilitators. And these people are volunteers, not part of The System. Not police. Not judges. Not probation officers. Not social workers. Not housing case workers. Just ordinary people not intimidated by it all.


I did it – But

Posted: 22 December 2014 in Prisons
Tags: , ,



I did it, but…

  • But life is hard man. You’ve gotta survive
  • But do you know what the Government get up to!
  • But others benefitted from it
  • But I had no victims
  • But it hurt me more, than them. By hurting my mum and dad/wife and kids.
  • But I never did it. I was set up

I’m in prison talking to men as part of the Sycamore Tree course. And this is what I often hear.

There is a strong mechanism of ‘explanation’ puts the crime at a distance. A defacto denial. It is an act of self preservation, in an environment that is telling them, implicitly or explicitly – you are shit, you are worthless, hey toe-rag, you deserve to be in this dump.