Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bishop Richard Moth Supporting Prisoners and their Families

Bishop Richard with one of the printing team at HMP Coldingley
Pact was part of a landmark visit to HMP Coldingley with Rt Rev Richard Moth to celebrate the publication of 'The Right Road, the Catholic Church’s approach to Criminal Justice'. The report, which sets out a vision for a prison system that rehabilitates offenders, supports victims and works for society as a whole, was printed at HMP Coldingley in their state of the art print workshop.

The print workshop employs around 50 prisoners and generates essential income for the prison to fund relationship and parenting programmes, family support services and one to one support services that are vital for rehabilitation, reducing re-offending and reducing anxiety and distress that can lead to self-harm, suicide and violence in prison. The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton recently printed its Refugee Newsletter with them and hopes to print further publications from them.

Pact will be providing a number of such services at HMP Coldingley, including:
Play Workers who offer a friendly, welcoming space and fun activities for children visiting a loved one in prison.
First Night and Early Days in Custody service which offers emotional and practical support to prisoners arriving in prison to reduce the high levels of anxiety and distress that are known to trigger self-harm and suicide.
A range of relationship, parenting education and family learning courses to improve personal resilience, empathy and communication skills, and to strengthen key family relationships.
Visitors’ Centre support to ensure that visitors receive a warm welcome, and are given the support, guidance and information needed to ensure that their visit is as positive an experience as possible, and that they are signposted to any additional support they may require.

Pact CEO, Andy Keen-Downs said: "We are pleased that the Church has a strong voice and clear message to policy makers when it comes to prison reform, and as a charity working within the criminal justice landscape, we know that justice must be understood as a process of restoration and healing, and prisons seen as places of learning and rehabilitation. We are proud to be working with HMP Coldingley and are encouraged to see the print workshop providing so many prisoners with the opportunity to learn new skills, and build confidence and self-esteem."

Bishop Richard is the Bishop with responsibility for prisons on behalf of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and also has pastoral oversight of this prison within the Diocese.

If you would like to find out more about the print workshop at HMP Coldingley please contact: Jane.Ashwood@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

To download 'The Right Road' please visit http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/News/The-Right-Road

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