Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Age appropriate activities for prisoners - by Prison Widow UK

Quite a few people have emailed in about the Panorama undercover footage concerning age-appropriate acivities at HMP Northumberland. 
Those of you who watched the documentary would have seen prisoners colouring in pictures of Peppa Pig. It isn't age appropriate, far from it, but in their defence, could it be that some of the prisoners were colouring in these pictures to send to their children? Quite possibly, so without the facts, let us not jump to conclusions that these prisoners were forced to colour in infant pictures because there wasn't anything else to do.
I've been an activities organiser and advisor for over ten years and there are plenty of safe age appropraite activities for adults/prisoners, in-cell and out! 
The reason I was in HMP Altcourse last week was to showcase some of the activities and there is a never ending stream of them, some involving absolutely no scissors, glue or potential contraband either. Granted, some activities need to be prepped which might involved cutting out circles of paper which can be done by staff and takes very little time. So what about the materials? I'll give you an example of some freebies and what prisoners use every day. Loo roll holders. Staff cut these in to strips and this is what you can make:

                                               

Loo roll holder wall art and a stick of glue or toothpaste even is all you need to create a cheap meaningful and age appropriate activity which make great gifts for families too! 


Loo roll holders cut in to strips is all a person need to create some fantastic art and it's easy to do. Put posters up in visitor's centres and ask families to bring in empty holders! 
There is absolutely no excuse for delivering non age appropriate activities for adult prisoners. If indeed colouring in pictures of Peppa Pig wasn't for the prisoners children, then it is insulting to that person to say the least! 

Alison Henderson AKA Prison Widow UK