The Good Prison Awards for holistic achievement by prisons and young offenders institutions in delivering person-centred interventions that enhance offenders’ positive identity, relationships and capabilities were presented at an awards event attended by over 80 practitioners from the prison service, criminal justice system and third sector at the Clink Restaurant, HMP High Down on 27 November 2012. Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners were announced together with Best Single Initiative and Commended Entries.
The Good Prison Framework that formed the entry criteria for the competition is based on 4 years' research in developing PrisonerActionNet and on a comprehensive review of the literature on desistance and transitions from crime.
Gerard Lemos CMG, partner at Lemos&Crane and chair of the Good Prison Awards judging panel said:
"A 'good prison' in essence is more than security and work training, more even than reducing reoffending, more even than looking after prisoners with mental health difficulties or problems with drugs. Long-term rehabilitation depends on the ex-offender acquiring a new idea of themselves; it depends on sustaining positive relationships and being a good parent. And finally it depends on independence and capability, for example shown in pride in achievements and positive peer influences. We applaud the effort and ingenuity of all the work in these areas from the 24 prisons and young offender institutions that entered the Good Prisons Awards."
Mark Woodruff, The Monument Trust, member of the judging panel said:
"The Monument Trust has funded innovative work in prisons for many years. In reviewing the entries for the Good Prison Award it has been most heartening to see how this has been built upon in so many imaginative ways and with such energy and commitment across the estate."
Clive Martin, Director Clinks, member of the judging panel said:
"The quality of entries overall was fantastic with some brave and daring examples of innovation and fresh thinking in tackling some challenging issues, which is particularly impressive given the backdrop of budget cuts and the pressure to demonstrate hard outcomes and results."
The quality and number of entries is further progress by Lemos&Crane with The Monument Trust that began in 2008 with the creation of PrisonerActionNet that has grown into a network both online and at conferences to share and celebrate good practice, which involves over 100 prisons and young offender institutions and over 3,200 criminal justice and third sector practiitioners. In 2012 we distributed 37,000 free novels to our prison and young offender institution network as part of World Book Night.
The Gold Award trophy and prize money of £1,500 went to HMP/YOI Doncaster. The following citation was read:
"Among the many highlights of Doncaster’s entry was the work of Families First described by the HM Prison Inspectorate as ‘the best it had come across’, including the Daddy Newborn scheme that encourages fathers of babies less than six months to bond with their baby. It has developed a social enterprise, Second Shot Productions, that provides opportunities for artistic expression with a commercial focus including film making, graphic design, drama and arts. It also has a hugely impressive resettlement service including a housing coordinator who facilities agencies to come into custody to assess clients and make referrals and book emergency accommodation. This service was also highlighted by the HM Prison Inspectorate as being of an extremely high quality.”
John Biggin, HMP/YOI Doncaster Director said:" I am delighted to receive this award not only on behalf of HMP/YOI Doncaster but on behalf of everyone who works with offenders every day to increase their future chances of living lives free from reoffending."
The Silver Award trophy and prize money of £500 went to HMP/YOI Parc. The following citation was read:
"For the last five years HMP/YOI Parc has run the Hay in the Parc festival, a collaboration between with the world-famous Hay Literary festival that sees writers visit the prison and perform work that engages and challenges the prisoners, presenting alternative lives and possibilities that stretch horizons as well as encouraging use of the library and creative writing. The prison has also developed Parc United, an initiative to offer support and mentoring specifically for Gay, Bisexual and Transgender prisoners – identified as the one groups most difficult to reach in the prison world."
Joint winners of the Bronze Award trophy each receiving £250 were HMP Erlestoke and HMP High Down.
HMP Erlestoke’s citation referred to the Engagement Programme that provides support for the most challenging, disaffected prisoners – the 5% considered ‘unemployable’ - to promote engagement and maximise the development of skills through offering a wide range of activities reflecting personal interests.
HMP High Down’s citation referred to the achievement of The Clink restaurant described by HM Prison Inspectorate as ‘dazzling’, which is used not only to give training and work experience to prisoners but also as a venue for initiatives such as Teen Teas that gives fathers to opportunity to share an early evening meal (and the quality time that goes with it) with their children.
The Best Single Initiative trophy and prize money of £250 went to HMP Hewell for the Prison Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Partnership, a project where prisoners are taught how to train puppies to become qualified hearing dogs for deaf or hearing impaired individuals to help them achieve greater independence.
Commendations were cited overall for:
Commendations were also cited for best single initiatives from:
HMP & YOI Doncaster
HMP Bullwood Hall
HMP High Down
HMP Isle of Wight: Reducing Re-offending & Accredited Interventions
HMP La Moye
HMP Low Newton
HMP Lowdham Grange
HMP New Hall
HMP South Yorkshire
HMP/YOI Drake Hall
HMYOI Cookham Wood