Families - By Prisoner Ben Gunn


As every criminologist, penologist, governor and probation officer knows, the influence of our families is one of the most important factors in our re-offending rates.

The prison service recognises this in a raft of policy statements, and family engagement is one of the seven "re-settlement pathways".

So I asked that the two people closest to me be allowed to attend an upcoming sentence plan board.

The prison, highlighting the perpetual gap between policy and practice, sent me a memo insisting that I justify the presence of the two people who will be crucial in my resettlement into the community.

I replied, asking that the prison justify their exclusion. Watch this space to discover if the prison service exists in a cesspool of hypocrisy...

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