Reading and sharing experiences in weekly sessions provide valuable structure and continuity as part of the process of rehabilitation, contributing to the reduction of re-offending.
Those who attend Get Into Reading groups in prisons, in probation and in community initiatives for ex-offenders are unanimous in how they value shared reading: “a second chance”, one man called it.
The key factors are:
- purposeful activity
- social inclusion
- opportunities for positive interaction with others
“I have actually started to read for pleasure on my own. I look forward to each session. I have never read out aloud to anyone before, but the atmosphere in the group is so laid back that it helped my confidence. I decided to throw myself in the deep end and came out of it chuffed with myself.” Group member, HMP Liverpool
The benefits of shared reading in Criminal Justice settings are:
- Improved mental health
- Improved self esteem
- Development of empathy
- Enhanced emotional literacy and communication skills
- Development of a capacity for learning
- Development of skills of social interaction
Get Into Reading Projects in Prisons:
A three-year collaborative initiative between The Reader Organisation and the National Personality Disorder Team at the Department of Health/Home Office provides readers-in-residence at HMP Hydebank Wood, Belfast and HMP Low Newton, Durham.
“K has just signed up for literacy classes. She wouldn’t have even asked what they were before this group, let alone come along.” Warden, HMP Hydebank
As part of a two-year project funded by Liverpool Primary Care Trust, readers-in-residence run groups at HMP Liverpool in the Vulnerable Adults’ Wing and in the Health Care Unit.
A one-year project funded by the Trusthouse Foundation has enabled our reader-in-residence to set up groups in seven Approved Premises in Greater Manchester Probation Trust and provide training for eighteen hostel staff.
At the Liverpool Women’s Turnaround Project, our reader-in-residence delivers reading sessions and training for staff and women in the group to read to members of their families. This initiative is funded by the Pilgrim Trust and is a partnership between the National Offender Management Services and PSS to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for women offenders and those at risk of offending.
To find out more about how sessions run, as well as a range of project options, including taster sessions, short-term pilots, readers-in-residence and training, please contact us: email@example.com.