Prisoners Week Forums - Not Alone

In what ways can we help people feel that they are not alone?

This year we will be hosting four forums on Zoom to explore the different kinds of support offered to people affected by the criminal justice system. Each forum will follow a similar format. After a brief introduction to the topic, panel members, each chosen for their experience and involvement in the relevant area, will be introduced. There is a representative of the Scottish Prison Service on all four panels. Each panel member will talk for around 5 minutes. During the talk meeting participants will be able to submit questions via zoom chat with the Chair of the Forum facilitating the answering of question and ensuing discussion. Have a look at what we are planning for each forum below and register for the ones that interest you.

Forum 1 — Pastoral Care in Prisons — Sunday 15th Nov @ 3pm

Prison Chaplains will be speaking about the support they provide and have continued to provide throughout Covid-19 lockdown in new and innovative ways. Sue Brookes, Interim Director of Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) will present her vision of pastoral care which considers the trauma and bereavement which people often experience before and during their incarceration. Questions and answers will follow after panel members have given a short talk. You may want to find out how you can become involved as a chaplaincy volunteer after hearing the speakers! The session will be chaired by Rev Sheena Orr, Church of Scotland Chaplaincy Advisor to the SPS.
Click here to register

Forum 2 — Support inside Prisons — Tuesday 17th Nov @ 3pm

Helping convicted people to unlock their potential to live a transformed life is the daily challenge of prison staff. The range of activities available, and their rational, is introduced by Scott McLellan, former Head of Offender Outcomes at HMP Low Moss, talking about his vision for what people do when out of their cell. HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, will give her vision of what a 21st Century prison should look and feel like. And a person recently released from prison will reflect on the support they received. Questions and answers will follow a short talk by each of the panel members. The session will be chaired by Dan Gunn, retired Prison Governor and active Board member of Stirling Interfaith Community Justice Group and Prisoners Week Trust (two of many hats!).
Click here to register

Forum 3 — Support outside Prisons — Wednesday 18th Nov @ 7pm

People in prison come from a community and go back into a community. The welcome and support they receive can make all the difference as to whether they reoffend or not. Rob Strachan, Divisional Head of Strategy, Planning and Partnership will talk about how the recent Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened the links that the Scottish Prison Service has with many external organisations to develop an integrated support process for those being released. Paul Stevenson, Director of Homelessness Prevention, Bethany Christian Trust, has wide experience of the range of barriers people face on release from prison and will bring his vision to the table. Kevin Neary uses his past and present lived experience to support others in developing more positive relationships in the community, making connections and building bridges to more positive destinations. The Forum will be chaired by Pete White, formerly of Positive Prison? Positive Futures but now busy developing a movement called ‘Only Just’.
Click here to register

Forum 4 — Support for Families — Thursday 19th Nov @ 7pm

It is often said that families serve a sentence alongside their loved one in prison. Through no fault of their own partners, children and the wider family can find their world turned upside down in an instant. This Forum explores the issues faced by families, the support available and the vision for a compassionate community. Panel members include a family member of someone in prison, a Scottish Prison Service Family Contact Officer who helps parents and children to keep in touch during imprisonment, and a representative of Early Years Scotland who provide support to families with young children. The Forum will be chaired by Families Outside and will be of interest to anyone concerned about those who are left behind when someone goes to prison.
Click here to register