Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


Fathers Inside

fathers-inside-topFathers Inside is an intensive group-work programme for men and young men in prison focusing on parental responsibilities and children’s education, development and wellbeing. The programme uses drama, fiction, group discussion, games and written portfolio work to enable students to develop a better understanding of their role as a father, while challenging attitudes, developing skills essential to successful resettlement, and contributing to desistance from crime.

A five-week parenting programme for men in prison.
Programme length:
Modular delivery over five weeks (delivered – full time) or nine weeks (delivered part time)
Who the programme is for:
Groups of 14 – 20 male prisoners aged 18 years or above, who have a child or children
Where is the programme delivered:
In Category A, B, C and resettlement prisons
Staff required:
Two full-time tutors and a part-time family support worker.
Uses role play, group discussions, games, written portfolio work and letter writing, underpinned by arts and participatory learning as part of the desistance model.
Qualifications offered:
Mapped to a variety of NOCN and City and Guild units, including Developing Parent Skills (Level 1), Developing Personal development Skills (Level 1) and Developing Group and Teamwork Communication Skills (Level 1).
Delivery options:
  1. Safe Ground provide training, resources and all relevant support and quality assurance for your staff to deliver Fathers Inside.
  2. Safe Ground provide experienced staff to deliver the programme in your establishment.
Aims of programme:
  • Develop and maintain family relationships Challenge attitudes and thinking
  • Support ETE progression
  • Enhance group work and communication skills
  • Coordinate targeted support services and agencies
  • Realistic goal-setting
  • Contribute to desistance process
  • Improve prisoner-staff relationships
  • Improve basic literacy
  • Consolidate positive identity
  • Improve health and wellbeing

Delivery Sites

Programmes delivered between 2003 - 2014
Students have completed the programme
Completion rate
Qualifications awarded
Qualifications awarded per student on average


fathers-inside-evaluationsFathers Inside has recently been put through the Justice Data Lab and has also been the subject of three independent evaluations, as well as been featured as a model of good practice in a number of recent pieces of research, including:

  1. The Justice Data Lab has anaylsed how affective our programme is, with the result showing Fathers Inside participants are 40% less likely to reoffend. Read the report here
  2. Barnardo’s and Family Strategic Partnership (2012), Are we nearly there yet, Dad? Illustrated the journey taken by six young fathers through a variety of service provision, and highlighted Fathers Inside as an example of best practice for successful intervention in advance of release and resettlement
  3. Policis (2014), Parenting and relationship support programmes for offenders and their families: Best practice in commissioning and service provision. A 2014 report commissioned by MoJ and BIS highlighted Fathers Inside as a model of best practice in partnership working for the way in which it brings multiple agencies together in an appropriate sequence to best fit the needs of the cohort and to increase efficiency
  4. Fatherhood Institute (2012), Parenting Programmes and Policy: A Critical Review of Best Practice
    Fathers Inside was the only prison-based programme to be highlighted in the Fatherhood Institute’s international study of policies and programmes promoting or facilitating the involvement of fathers.
  5. Prisoners Education Trust (2012), Brain Cells (2nd Edition): Listening to Prisoner Learners Featured as a case study in the Prisoners Education Trust’s ereview of the prisoner learning


What do our students say about Fathers inside ?

“Since Kevin started the Fathers Inside programme, he has changed and improved his parenting skills, the way he approaches difficult issues… Working together as a family, we are getting stronger and coping so much better and looking forward to the future”
Wife of Fathers Inside Graduate, HMP Huntercombe, 2012

“There isn’t another programme that does what the Safe Ground programmes do. The way they work with the men, and involve their partners, and children, the manner in which they create confidence, motivation, and self-efficacy is unique”
Family Interventions Manager, HMP&YOI Parc, 2012

“It’s not about changing nappies, it’s about changing attitudes”
Fathers Inside Graduate, HMP Belmarsh, 2008

Fathers Inside made me take a long look at my life and re-evaluate where I was going. It has given me an incentive I didn’t have before to avoid re-offending”
Fathers Inside Graduate, HMP Ashwell, 2004 in The Impact of Fathers Inside


For more information on our delivery packages, please contact us at or call 0207 091 9004

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