When I am asked what television documentary portrays our prison system with the most accuracy, my answer always takes them by surprise. With no shadow of a doubt, the best documentary, which is not even a documentary, is the 1970s sit-com, Porridge. I’ve yet to see its accurate portrayal of prison surpassed. Don’t just take … Continue reading The history of ‘Porridge’
I have had several wonderful moments over the last 3 years since being released from my last prison sentence. Several incredible personal achievements have also taken place. However, over the last few days so much has gone on that it is difficult to know where to start. A bit of background would more than likely … Continue reading Letting go.
Re-offending costs a shitload of money. Billions of pounds. Not 3 or 4, but double figures. Over £18 billion. EIGHTEEN BILLION £££££££S. Or 180 Lionel Messi's. In 2002, the Social Exclusion Unit produced a report into reducing the re-offending rates of ex-prisoners with the catchy title 'Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners', Report by the Social Exclusion … Continue reading Reducing re-offending? – don’t make me laugh!
First impressions count, and yet we have a fixation on stereotyping. Do we really give first impressions a chance? Or have we already formed our impressions based on stereotypes? As novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie so articulately stated in her TED Talk recorded in July 2009 “The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, … Continue reading Them and Us!
My hobby, and other passion, as an organised crime historian, began whilst I was still a child, many years ago. It was a passion that became a dream which became a goal. Because of the power and beauty of the education I received as a resident in many of our majesty's detention centres, youth custody … Continue reading Why my message is clear! – #WhatCanBe
In A reflection of Perth et al. I detailed the history of HMP Perth in Scotland. In this blog, I will look back at the history of HMP Castle Huntly, which among other uses over several centuries was a former probationary school for girls, a borstal for boys and a young offenders' institution. In 1452, during … Continue reading Castle Huntly revisited
*TRIGGER WARNING* - I discuss mental health and suicide in this blog. In a comment to a post, I replied with the following: "Knowing oneself is a powerful feeling. Doesn't mean life gets any easier but it allows you to appreciate it more. The negatives in life, I've found anyway, only have longevity if you … Continue reading Why did I choose to go on hunger strike?
On Friday the 21st of August 2020, we said a sad goodbye to one of the greatest educators of our time. Of all time. Sir Ken Robinson. His 2006 Ted Talk titled 'Do schools kill creativity' has been viewed over 60 million times in 160 countries. It is suggested that his talk has been seen … Continue reading A tribute to Sir Ken
I wrote a post earlier today which can be seen below as it is one that indirectly brought the term rehabilitation to the forefront of my thoughts once again. '#labels. Our priorities change as our years progress and I'm sure there's no need for me to list examples. #parenthood Over the last three years I … Continue reading Rehabilitation is an attitude
I honestly cannot recall meeting a bad librarian in a prison library. Then again, or one in the community. I’ve met strict librarians, but then, it was a prison library and some form of control was needed. However, librarians, especially ones who work in prison are worth their weight in gold. Imagine if a doctor’s … Continue reading The Library