In January 2020 I was re-enthused about some of the amazing work that takes place, on a daily basis within the UK prisons estate…
It’s always good to receive confirmation about things you already think you know, especially when you are constantly bombarded with a differing narratives or contradictory stories.
We live in a society where worryingly, many people believe they are living in constant danger and should all be fearful for our security and their personal safety. Thankfully, most of that ‘fear’ is irrational and unjustified. Realistically, our lives are not in constant danger and, there are still more good people than bad people, at least for now.
The most common cause of death in our country is disease and illness, not criminal violence and (for now), statistics still suggest that most of us are destined to live relatively healthy lives and well into our 80’s (ons.gov.uk) so all this fear is unfounded.
The increased level of fear, so apparently prominent within today’s society, is something that is mostly engineered and for all manner of reasons. Not least from those commercial interests and targets pursued by the MSM machinery. These organisations are constantly chasing enhanced revenue opportunities and share-holders are fixated on cash, rather than news accuracy or social ethics. Sadly, subsequent emotions born in fear actually sells ‘news’ and the media machinery knows that.
The MSM pedal half-truths and less than accurate emotive headlines on a regular basis. These stories are then redistributed across social-media platforms, usually by unthinking and ill-informed individuals who, as a consequence, actually serve to perpetuate the problem. A great deal of this contrived ‘news’ is born in often mischievously manipulated statistics.
When information is presented without context, to people who probably wouldn’t read it any way, is it any wonder that it can also generate shock-factor emotive responses? But back to the event at the heart of this post.
Thankfully, I already knew about much of what I was seeing and hearing about at the Prison Recovery Conference recently held in Leeds (January 2020). But it was still good to have some facts confirmed.
Despite all the social perceptions, political interference and reduced funding over recent times; actually, there are many good people working for proactive organisations who are supporting marginalised individuals. These people that are impacted by addictions by be incarcerated for their criminality however; they are still humans who can benefit from support to change their past/present behaviours. .
Thankfully, many individuals are being supported to achieve not only their initial recovery goal but also, to move forward towards realising some of their individual dreams. Building and preparing foundations to support their re-connection with our society post release.
Despite the prevalent social perceptions around that common “lock ’em up throw away the keys” – too many people (especially politicians) forget the reality of any circumstances around an individual becoming a prison inmate. Not all people are bad, but some do make bad choices during their life. Our prisons are supposedly designed to be a source of rehabilitation, not simply a dumping ground for society’s ‘miss-fits’ or difficult individuals.
When somebody actually wants to change their life and move forward, to be a better human being and live productively within the community, with the support they might require; it’s socially unacceptable that we prevent that choice… for whatever reason.
Yes, our public resources have been constrained by austerity over recent years however and despite that fact; adequate funding for important resources are still required, in many areas of our much-needed support structures. We still need to try and provide support for rehabilitation, reintegration that improve #PrisonRecovery outcomes… Thankfully, some people (and their organisations) are still trying to do that – under immensely difficult circumstances – and long may that continue!