HMP HOLLOWAY IS SUPPORTING OFFENDERS WITH REHABILITATION, and is looking for organisations in Camden that would be willing to involve (women) offenders, who are on day release in their offender volunteering scheme. The scheme has proven successful so far. Have a read of what it’s all about, including a testimonial from a current offender and volunteer, as well as feedback from organisations who have taken part.
‘In line with the government’s drive towards returning offenders back into society safely and, as part of a wider awareness to reduce re-offending by way of supporting offenders; Holloway has set-up working partnerships directly with various organisations with a common goal of assisting with offender rehabilitation.
These relationships have enabled the prison to offer voluntary work and paid work to offenders still serving their sentences; but are due to be released into the community soon. There is a careful vetting process of offenders. It is essential that the public and the staff of the organisations the offenders are sent to, are not put at risk. The women at Holloway are granted release on temporary licence (ROTL) to enable them to do this.
The offender volunteers are currently working in different places such as charity retail shops, warehouses, local gardens, colleges and offices. These places often offer training, experience and various skills and qualifications. Some organisations have set up workshops such as textile workshops within the prisons in pursuance of this goal.’
– Miss D. Kelly, Business and Community Engagement Manager at HMP Holloway
BENEFITS TO OFFENDERS:
‘Going to prison is probably one of the lowest points for most individuals particularly if one had a job and a career prior to this. Your initial thoughts are that you have reached the end of the road, that you are a total outcast and utterly useless. The opportunity to slowly be integrated into society and being given a second chance is extremely beneficial to us.
I myself, the writer, work alongside all other members of staff at a well-known international charity. By being allowed to do so and treated with appreciation and respect, it has helped me get my self-esteem and confidence back. As a result of my work placement with the charity, one of the barriers that I feared I was going to have to face when leaving prison has simply diminished.
Working at this organisation has given me a sense of normality by allowing me to work in a normal proper formal work environment. It has given me a sense of perspective and has allowed me to rediscover my people skills, time management skills and organisational skills.
All the members of staff at the charity are supportive and understanding of the prison volunteer’s situation. You feel supported emotionally. This has a positive knock on effect on your family who look at you in a different light. You are no longer an embarrassment to the family but someone with potential and to look up to.
I have been immensely touched by the way that both HMP Holloway and my current employer have proactively been supporting the government with offender rehabilitation initiative. This will no doubt in the long run benefit society as a whole through reduction in re-offending rates. This is achieved by offering offenders the opportunity to apply for jobs within the organisations they are placed with purely based on qualification and skills and not their past offending. Those who choose to go and work elsewhere are provided with credible references to allow them to rebuild their lives. I am in no doubt that ROTL is to be encouraged and supported by all who are able to.’
– Offender Miss Clarke
EMPLOYERS COMMENTS ON FOUR OFFENDERS
‘Miss _____ is a very capable colleague and a delight to work with. She is already proving to be a valuable asset to the team.’
‘Miss ________ continues to out perform the expectations of her role and duties. She remains extremely dedicated and committed and we have actually increased her responsibilities.’
‘Miss ____ proves herself over and over again with being hard working, sensible, considerate and patient.’
‘In conclusion, Miss ____ is very diligent with and takes her work seriously, she is an asset to the organisation her positive enthusiasm towards her duties is infectious.’
Have a read of the Voluntary Placement Memorandum of Understanding to get a better idea of what is expected of volunteer and organisations participating in the scheme: MOU blank
And if you have any questions about this scheme – or you are an organisations that would like to take part, please contact Diane Kelly, Business and Engagement Manager by email or phone on 020 7979 4663.