Welcome to our October edition. Here you will find a round-up of our month, including key updates on our work, feedback from people that we work with, and what to expect in the coming months.
Here we are in Autumn, feels more like Winter with the rain and cold, but we can hold onto the amazing Summer we had, and here is October, so lets get some news over to you, starting with lovely thank you’ s from two client.
· Dear Sussex Pathways Team,
I would like to thank you for your support that you gave to me whilst I was in prison and upon my release as it really made a difference to my life and will continue too for my future using everything you offered me from the one to one support, group therapy classes and the aftercare you continued to give me upon my release from prison.
I appreciate your work and efforts and it really has made a difference to my life already so thank you all so much.
The Sussex Pathways course has provided me with a very supportive and safe space to unload personal issues.
The staff have encouraged taking responsibility for my current circumstances and have increased my understanding how my choices have their related outcomes.
My keyworker calls me regularly and is very sympathetic to my personal issues and offers me guidance and encouragement. She seems particularly caring, far more so than most of my family and friends.
The group has provided a speaker that has explained some of what AA and NA perform and how they function.
- A Pathways to Change in the Community Attendee
· All staff and visitors will undergo being searched in entry into the Prison from the New Year, this is welcome news but will hold up the entry while searches are being conducted, so please be patient at the gate.
· Covid and Prisons - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-and-prisons
· Sentencing white paper The government has published a white paper for reforming the sentencing and release framework. If you wish to know more about this please click on the link.
· New Prison regulations on Fitbits/Smart watches - Staff, visitors and residents are not permitted to bring fitbits or smart-watches into the prison. These devices have a range of applications, depending on the model in question, and this range is ever developing. Some provide internet connectivity, as well as mobile phone, camera and sound recording functionality, and can be the equivalent of a state of the art smart-phone.
· Models that have mobile phone, camera or sound recording capability - or which can be used to communicate with the outside world - are prohibited under prison rules and it is a criminal offence to bring them into a prison without authorisation. They are classed as List B and any staff intentionally bringing them into a prison could face up to two years in prison.
· Due to difficulties in identifying the range of applications that each device features and the specific threat presented, all devices of this type are therefore unauthorised articles.
· Devices that do not wirelessly connect but are still considered IT fall under List C and it is still an offence to bring such a device into a prison.
· Please find attached an updated unauthorised articles list:
· People deliberately seeking to evade the ban will make themselves liable to prosecution for conveying a prohibited article into prison or possessing such a device in prison (see PSI 10/2012 Conveyance and Possession of Prohibited Items and Other Related Offences).
Another interesting link for you to read, as these dark, wet evenings from the Probation Inspectorates report.
Adapting project delivery during lockdown
As for everyone in the UK, the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown has been significant for us. While our normal methods of project delivery – involving working closely with participants in small groups – are ‘on pause’ for now, we have been working hard to develop new ways of working which will allow us to continue to meet the needs of prisoners, former prisoners and young people in challenging circumstances, and to continue to utilise the skills of our exceptional team of musicians.
We have adapted our Music in Prisons intensive model into a remote collaborative song-writing project; prisoners will produce lyrics, which our project team musicians will turn into fully formed songs. As usual, the songs will be recorded and CDs created to share with prisoners’ friends & family
We have developed a new ‘music appreciation’ project, which will provide prisoners with a series of playlists and worksheets curated by our musicians, exploring a range of musical genres and helping to develop the ‘musical ears’ of participants for when usual delivery methods can resume
In the community:
We have adapted our creative projects model for former prisoners and young people in challenging circumstances for online delivery
We have developed new opportunities for young people who have completed Making Tracks to earn Silver Arts Award qualifications
We have created an e-newsletter to engage with present & past participants, including links to other free online creative opportunities (sign-up here)
We’re very fortunate to be one of the organisations to receive Emergency Response Funds from Arts Council England to help with this process of adapting delivery.
· As many of you will know Nicky Fenner has been seconded into a new post for six months, so I thought it would be nice if she adds a little something to our newsletter, while we wish her luck in her new post.
· Hi, All my name is Nicky Fenner most of you know me as the Restorative Justice delivery officer working for Sussex police in the RJ partnership. I have been doing this role for around 5 years and have covered various levels of cases from shoplifting to murder. Due to the amount of different levels of cases I have completed I was able to complete my practitioner accreditation in areas of the community, criminal justice, and sensitive and complex cases.
As the RJDO, I deliver Restorative Interventions for both Post-Sentence cases and crimes that have been dealt with out of court by Police Caution or Community Resolution. Community Resolutions are tickets issued by Police Officers in consultation with the victim, usually to first time offenders for low level offences. The offender must complete some sort of action to make up for the crime they have committed, and this may be an agreement to complete RJ. To be honest, a Community Resolution case is often more complicated than a post sentence case, and usually are completed within two weeks. They are a slightly different way of working and can be sometimes incredibly challenging however, they still have a restorative outcome.
I am extremely passionate about restorative justice and enjoy working with my fellow colleagues on each case sharing and seeing the passion everyone also has. Due to Covid-19 this year has been far from normal and has impacted the way I and all of us have had to work. I have not able to meet up and work on joint visits with facilitators or meet participants of RJ face to face, therefore, the majority of cases I am working on have been conducted remotely only having contact by email or phone. We have had to adapt and learn new ways to approach our victims and offenders to be able to still give the victim a voice and receive answers, in some cases which they desperately need.
As within all roles that we work in for a long time sometimes you just need to have a change for a short time and this is such that I have now been offered a new role as the safer street coordinator still working within Sussex police for a six month secondment until march 2021 . The role is working with various partners in the police and council highlighting and address areas of heighten crimes and using funding to implement a course of actions required such as cameras, gating alleys, and empowering the community and business for more engagement within the process. This role takes me out of my comfort zone I have known for so long in RJ but I am looking forward to the challenge and my own personal development. So, for now I wish you all the best, safe stay and I will be back soon.
· Restorative Justice in the Prisons is still very slow, due to lockdowns to keep Covid out (and quite rightly so), but RJ is moving in the Community and we are seeing more activity around cases now. The hubs are doing TEAMS meetings once a month, so please keep a look out for these and join when you can. They keep you in the loop and updated on what is going on in the RJ world.
Pathways to Change
· Include numbers for each month of referrals/active cases/community interactions
· Now we have a new Volunteer Supervisor Rosanna (see below for more info), we are having weekly Volunteer Zooms on a Tuesday morning between 11am and 12o/c, these are for all volunteers RJ and VKWs, and the agenda is Introductions, open cases, group discussion, general updates on Prison and Community work, Events, check out and close.
· Rosanna is already planning our Christmas Volunteer Network Meeting, but I will leave it to Rosanna in the Zoom meetings and in the next Newsletter to tell you all about it.
News & Media
· Another interesting read ‘Levelling up our communities’ by Danny Kruger MP. https://www.dannykruger.org.uk/sites/www.dannykruger.org.uk/files/2020-09/Kruger%202.0%20Levelling%20Up%20Our%20Communities.pdf
Stay safe from all at Sussex Pathways.
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Lewes Prison Office: 01273 785335
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