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



Safe Ground broadcasting live on Wandsworth Radio!

14 Apr 2016 by Keisha Bhamra

This week Communities and Communications Manager, Obinna Nwosu, joined Ian Barclay for the ArtsWatch programme on Wandsworth Radio. To catch up and listen to the interview about Safe Ground’s activities during the Wandsworth Arts Festival as well as our 21st birthday celebrations, click here or listen below. … more »

The Thinking Home Experience by Gus

14 Apr 2016 by Dan Branigan

As a result of our successful participation in the Essex Book Festival last year, as part of Freedom and Expression at the Free Word Centre, we were invited to participate again in March 2016, this time as part of its Thinking Home strand of events at the Firstsite art gallery in Colchester. One of our […] … more »

Dads Behind Bars: Fathers Inside at HMPYOI Parc

07 Apr 2016 in

HMPYOI Parc’s Family Intervention Unit (FIU) has been featured on a recent Channel 4 report about Dads behind bars. The report focuses on the groundbreaking reform programme at the prison which helps to reinforce men’s links with their children and families in order to prevent re-offending. Safe Ground has been in partnership with Parc prison for 5 years and is proud that our programmes are a core component of the FIU.

Our well established programme, Fathers Inside, features prominently throughout the documentary.  The excellent and long standing facilitator, Trevor Latham, leads a session on ‘What makes the perfect dad?’ allowing the men to work together and identify the responsibilities that are needed for their child and partner. The documentary also looks at the journey of Jonathan Gilbert, a Fathers Inside graduate and peer mentor, and the positive impact the programme has had on his relationships.

Safe Ground Trustee and Head of Family Interventions at Parc, Corin Morgan-Armstrong, made the case that “…you can learn how not to be an offender but we can’t teach them to feel that, their family can…”. At Safe Ground we base our values on this notion because we believe that learning to understand relationships is as important as learning to read and write.

The Family Intervention Unit at Parc has thus far indicated positive outcomes. Less than a third of their 400 graduates have gone on to re-offend (compared with a national rate exceeding 50 per cent). These figures are anecdotal at this stage and not conclusive but do demonstrate the progress the model can make on reoffending rates. However, the impact of Safe Ground’s work over 21 years is well evidenced; most recently five Ministry of Justice Data Lab reports all show another of our programmes, Family Man, demonstrating a 37% reduction against 44% in frequency reoffending for its graduates when compared to a matched control group.

The efficacy of the pioneering family intervention model has prompted its current roll out at public sector prison HMP Erlestoke, featuring at its core both Fathers Inside and Family Man. Safe Ground is delighted to be involved in this partnership and is looking forward to the Education Review in light of these reforms.

To watch the documentary in full please watch below or click here.

Full article »

Wandsworth Community and Seldom Heard Grants

31 Mar 2016

In 2012, Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group created the Community and Seldom Heard Grants scheme to help local community groups engage in local NHS decision-making. In 2014, Safe Ground received a grant to inform and influence local health services. Safe Ground, along with Alumni member Gus, attended the Thinking Partners group and spoke with GP commissioners about the […] … more »

The Health of Prison Staff

12 Jan 2016 in

CCJS has revealed that recent studies indicate that prison officers are suffering high levels of physical and emotional stress. On 1st March 2016, CCJS are hosting an event exploring the origins of high levels of stress and low levels of well-being experienced by staff working within the prison service. Safe Ground’s Executive Director, Charlie Weinberg, will be presenting at the event.

For further information and how to book a place, please click here.

Full article »

Helping the Charity Sector to fight back

12 Jan 2016 in

This month, freelance charity project manager Cara Evans, has called for 2016 to be the year charities are celebrated and praised for the difference they make. Evans’ article in The Guardian urges charities to be “extra clever and resourceful” by making better use of social media and having the role of trustees and volunteers highlighted. To read the full article please click here.

Full article »

Can Prison Work?

23 Dec 2015

Each year the Prison Reform Trust run a writing competition open to anyone in prison in the UK. The 2015 competition consisted of three categories: Comment/Article – ‘Can Prison Work’ Short Story – ‘The Challenge’ Lyric/Rap – ‘Working it Out’  Below is an entry by Prisoner Ben which received accolades from The Guardian writer, Erwin […] … more »

Father Figures Presentation

15 Dec 2015 by Dan Branigan

On Wednesday 2nd December, an event celebrating the work undertaken on the Pilot Parenting Programme, Father Figures, at HMYOI Brinsford was held at Staffordshire University. Father Figures is a unique and progressive thinking parenting programme funded by National Offender Management Service (NOMS). Young Fathers are encouraged by an experienced facilitator to consider their relationships with […] … more »

200,000 Reasons To Care

27 Oct 2015 in

On October 20th 2015 the ‘200,000 Reasons To Care’ conference took place in Westminster where a group of charities showcased their work to support prisoners’ families, which improves outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and also helps to reduce the risk of re-offending.

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous and a group of 8 charities called for society to show a more compassionate and enlightened attitude to the 200,000 children whose parents are imprisoned each year, and the many more who have brothers, sisters, and other family members in custody.

Justice Minister Andrew Selous said: “Effective rehabilitation reduces reoffending, cuts crime and makes our streets safer. We know that helping prisoners maintain relationships can play an important role in helping them make positive changes to their lives.

“That is why we have introduced practical ways of improving family links, including extended visits and family days. We have also created 70 resettlement prisons across England and Wales so offenders can be placed in prisons close to home, keep in touch with families and work towards their rehabilitation in the community.”

The charities included Nepacs, Pact, Clinks, StoryBook Dads, Barnardo’s, Spurgeons, Jigsaw and POPS (Partners of Prisoners).

They also called on the Government to develop a strategy to support the growing number of children and families affected by the imprisonment of family members, and argue that this could cut crime and save money in the short and longer term.

A report into the resettlement provisions for adult offenders by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Probation and Ofsted can be downloaded here.

Full article »

Creating New Narratives

26 Oct 2015 by Dan Branigan

Women’s Programme Development Coordinator, Kate McCoy, has recently written a guest blog post for the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice. The blog post focuses on Kate’s experience of consulting and running creative personal development sessions with women in prison at HMPs East Sutton Park, Holloway, Low Newton, Send and Styal. The post describes […] … more »

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