Shared reading groups contribute to long-term, sustainable changes to prison reform, offender rehabilitation and offender prevention. They directly underpin the challenge to “transform the offender into the citizen”, which the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) targets through its seven pathways to reduce re-offending.
As our network of groups increases across the offender pathway, so does the contribution of shared reading to stronger and safer societies.
“It has encouraged me to read more in my spare time which has released a lot of stress off my shoulders as I have been suffering from depression.” P, HMP Wormwood Scrubs
(Source: Prison Reform Trust)
“I have never read out in front of anyone before. The atmosphere was so laidback and encouraging I decided to throw myself in at the deep end. As a result I came out chuffed with myself.” B, Vulnerable Prisoners Wing, HMP Liverpool
Evaluation of our reading groups in criminal justice settings shows that:
With women: HMP Low Newton; HMP Hydebank Wood; HMP Styal; Liverpool Women’s Turnaround Project; Tomorrow’s Women Wirral
With men: HMP Liverpool (Addictions and Offender Health Commissioning Team); HMP Frankland, HMP Wormwood Scrubs; HMP Manchester; HMP Kennet; Greater Manchester Probation Trust; Educational Shakespeare Company (Belfast)
With young people: HMP Reading; HMP Hindley
With offenders with complex problems: PD Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPE) units in six separate locations.
RISE: Reading in Secure Environments (RISE) is funded by Arts Council England and is bringing high-quality, challenging contemporary writers to readers in secure criminal justice and mental health care settings in partnership with an exciting range of literature festivals around the UK: Liverpool, Sefton, Wigan, Manchester, Durham and London.
Research: A Literature-Based Intervention for Women Prisoners
Published in 2013, this partnership study between researchers from Centre of Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) HMP Low Newton, Durham, and The Reader Organisation, and funded by the National Personality Disorder Team (Department of Health), assesses the benefits to wellbeing provided by shared reading to female prisoners.
Our Criminal Justice work in Greater Manchester is featured in Inside Hope: Mental Health Projects in the Criminal Justice System, a summary report for Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
Jane spoke about the influence Doris Lessing had on her life - and the programme showed a spot of #sharedreading of one of Doris's stories - 8m ago
If you have any suggestions on how we can enhance the Reader experience for you, please get in touch by filling out our quick form. Thank you.