HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
SALFORD GROUP OF EX-OFFENDERS SPEAKS TRUTH TO PRISON SYSTEM
 

Star date: 2nd September 2018

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER AND BREAKING THE CYCLE

A new group called Breaking The Cycle, made up of ex-offenders and those who have had friends and family in jail, is speaking truth to power to improve prisoners' families support services in Greater Manchester.

They've already visited Risley prison and have come up with recommendations, with Styal and Wymott prisons next in line... "It's about reducing crime" says Jason from Breaking The Cycle.

Full details here...


We're at the Broughton Trust HQ in Lower Broughton and everyone agrees that the 'throw the key away' attitude isn't working. People in jail are re-offending on release, families are suffering from a lack of communication and offenders themselves are seeing their mental health deteriorate from lack of a link with their kids...

"When men need to access or see their children there's no-one they can turn to in the prison system, so a lot are committing suicide and I've seen it with my own eyes" says Jasen, an ex-offender himself, now working with a new group Breaking The Cycle to try to improve things.

"This is about keeping the family tight" he explains "You're releasing people back into the community, and if they've got no regard for community they're going to commit crime again and there's going to be more victims. It's about reducing crime."

What is unique about this project is that the governors of Styal, Wymott and Risley prisons have commissioned the team, via the Broughton Trust, to do reports, along with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Phoenix Futures. It seems that they want to improve prisoners' families support services for men and women in jail, and want feedback from those with lived experience.

"They've asked for the report to be done, and want to take fifty per cent of our input and fifty per cent of what they have, which is better than the usual 99.5% their way and half a per cent of our input, so it must be a good thing" adds Stuart, another ex-offender who was homeless when jailed and homeless on release, with no support.

Both Stuart and Jasen have seen the system fail first hand, while the third member of the group, Melanie, knows people in jail and currently works as a volunteer with homeless people. The two issues overlap. Indeed, the team are also working on the Housing First and Standing Together projects.

"Action needs to be done, so there's no more smokescreens and people need to pull their finger out and do their jobs" she says "They say in the statistics that they're doing this and that but we see the reality and nothing is getting done.

"Anyone who wants to speak their truth and wants their story to be heard can share it with us" she adds "It's about getting the person to have a better life and not keep re-offending. Doors are being opened, and people with experience are helping with that understanding; they can trust the people they are speaking with. And these stories have to be listened to because people are suffering.

"There should be more support from people getting paid to support" she explains "These charities are coming in and getting the money to help the people but people are not getting the help. It's about time they stopped making money off the individual person and have a person with compassion doing what they are supposed to do."

As well as collecting stories and experiences of both those who have been through the prison system and their families, the team is also visiting prisons and a trip around the family centre at Risley has already produced a list of 16 points for improvement.

These range from recommending Skype video messaging between prisoners and their children, to better family visits booking systems, to more access to phones to contact families.

They've also recommended new courses for inmates, including community awareness, parenting awareness and home care and budgeting courses. And want the £3.50 per sandwich price reduced for visiting families, plus more updated toys in the family centre, better information notice boards and more diverse books for those speaking languages other than English.

Melanie argues that, bar a lick of paint, little had changed in the family visiting centre at Risley since she visited an inmate ten years ago.

"We're hoping things will change once we've put report in" says Stuart "We're trying to make things better for family visits within the prison system to keep family ties and connections. When I was in, I couldn't get hold of my family because I didn't have enough money to buy phone credit or couldn't get to one of the three phones on the corridor. It does your head in.

"I also know people who have hung themselves because they couldn't get hold of their family or couldn't see their kids, and it shouldn't be happening" he adds "Young lads hanging themselves because they couldn't get in touch with their family? Things need to change."

Jasen agrees: "The support services for men and women in jail are not very good, and should be improved" he says "Even from what I've seen of America they're a bit more switched on; they do Skype videos and family visits, and Sweden and Switzerland too."

But will having a team speaking truth to power work?

"I think they are going to take us seriously" Jasen decides "I think they want to improve it for the families, because when you're locked up, your kids and family are suffering. Why should they have to suffer? I think they're realising that now."

Anyone with lived experience of the prison system who either wants to join the team or to share experiences contact Breaking The Cycle via the Broughton Trust 0161 831 9807.

Jasen wrote
at 17:42:31 on 12 September 2018
Aww I am really sorry to hear this, H.M.P. Garth, is like most Prisons, When it comes to Male Prisons and their Families, and the prison System when it comes to our families. We are in 2018 and the Prison System is still Punishing Prisoners and their families by making Contact between Dads and their Children proper difficult.. Which is not helping them to turn their life's around.. I hope he's off closed visits now and seeing his children again..

Kelsey wrote
at 08:47:31 on 03 September 2018
My partner is serving 15years in Garth heís done nearly 5years. He hasnít seen the children for nearly 5 month because heís on closed visits, he was kept on the 2 month longer than he should of because the staff kept declining his appeal to get of them. They didnít give him any reason as to why heís being kept on them they kept giving him new review dates and he had to just sit and wait for this day it come. When he got reviewed he would be declined again to come off them!! Itís ridiculous

Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD PENDLETON TOGETHER TENANTS TELL OF KNIVES, NIBES, CLADDING, DODGY WINDOWS AND HOLES IN THE WALLS
What I would do if I was one of the disgruntled tenants is take video statements on my mobile phone. I would try to find about fi... [more]
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
The private companies must not be fulfilling their contract by allowing unsafe flats. It's good the government is not allowing a p... [more]
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
Brilliant things these PFI's! We know which way this is going---------Much hand wringing by Merry and Doughnut and then the flat... [more]
article: SALFORD PENDLETON TOGETHER TENANTS TELL OF KNIVES, NIBES, CLADDING, DODGY WINDOWS AND HOLES IN THE WALLS
A lot of great English humour overlaid on a sad and tragic tale of the human condition in the modern-day Britain. A very illuminat... [more]
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
tell you what, lets get the two master builders Merry and Dennett to sort it out. They could use the new wonderful company they ha... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

ST PAULíS CHURCHYARD TRAIL SALFORD

Star date: 22nd September 2018

GRAVE INTEREST IN KERSAL

St Paul's Churchyard Trail
Sunday 23rd September 11:30am
St Paul's Church, Kersal

Tomorrow, Sunday 23rd September, there's going to be a churchyard trail at St Paul's Church on Moor Lane in Kersal to learn some of the history of the important and interesting people buried there.

Full details here...

GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT

Star date: 21st September 2018

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL CAN'T ACCESS £400MILLION GOVERNMENT CLADDING FUND

Salford City Council has been told by the Government that it can't access the £400million public fund to help with the cost of replacing dangerous cladding on the nine Pendleton blocks because it's part of a PFI.

Nor will the Government allow the Council to loan Pendleton Together Operating Limited money from its £25million fund set aside for the cladding. In short, it's a complete mess.

Full details here...

SALFORD PENDLETON TOGETHER TENANTS TELL OF KNIVES, NIBES, CLADDING, DODGY WINDOWS AND HOLES IN THE WALLS

Star date: 21st September 2018

'IF YOU WERE TO LIVE HERE FOR ONE WEEK IN ONE OF OUR FLATS, IT WOULD OPEN YOUR EYES...'

Dodgy cladding, knife fights, a tenant threatening to jump off the roof, windows that you can't open, others that are almost falling out...and those NIBEs eating up people's heating budgets. Oh, and tenancy warnings handed out like confetti to elected tenants association officers who are trying to make things better.

Welcome to the Pendleton Together blocks, where residents at Malus Court have just about had enough...

Full details here...

PARENTS MAKE A STAND AGAINST FORCED CHILD REMOVAL BY SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

Star date: 20th September 2018

CIVIC CENTRE SEES PARENTS RAISE AWARENESS OF COUNCIL CHILD REMOVAL PRACTICE

"We're not doing this for the parents we're doing this for the kids, because kids are being hurt..."

Today saw parents who have had their children removed stage an awareness demonstration outside Salford Civic Centre... "We're not fighting for our kids to be brought back to us now, we're fighting for a better system for our kids in the future because it's not right what's going on, it's really not" Katie Jane told the Salford Star.

The demonstration is set to continue tomorrow (Friday) and next week until the 25th September, with networking in Victoria Park over the weekend.

Full details here...

£7MILLION CYCLE AND WALKING ROUTES FOR SALFORD ANNOUNCED

Star date: 20th September 2018

MONTON, SWINTON AND TRINITY WAY TO GET NEW CYCLE PATHS

Transport for Greater Manchester has announced a plan for £7.1million worth of cycle paths and walkways in Monton, Swinton and Trinity Way, with Salford City Council contributing £1.2million towards the total cost.

"The people of Greater Manchester will soon have a genuine choice in how they travel, ensuring that they and their children have a viable and attractive alternative to the car" says Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx