Prisons, the scandal we all ignore
The prison system in the UK is in crisis. The last 30 years have seen an increase in the prison population of 82%, leading to massive overcrowding and unsafe conditions for prisoners and prison officers alike. Assaults on staff are up by 88% in the past two years alone and rates of self-harm by prisoners are at a record level.
At the same time, reoffending rates sit at around 50% for all categories of prisoner, and rehabilitation, education and purposeful employment schemes within prisons are most often below standard and miss out many prisoners.
Edwina is a prison philanthropist whose work has taken her all over the UK and around the world visiting different models of criminal justice and examples of best practice.
She supported and advised the then Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, Bishop for Prisons (England and Wales) in the House of Lords and was a contributor to the Corston Report on Female Offenders in 2007. She sits on the Women’s Advisory Board for Female Offenders under The Secretary of State for Justice.
She is a founding investor and Trustee of the Clink Restaurant chain which trains prisoners for work in the catering industry. She is also the founder of One Small Thing, run by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, which works with prisoners and staff in female prisons and in the community to encourage a better understanding of trauma within the prison system and how to deal most effectively with those who have experienced it.
"We need to ask ourselves if we want our prisons to be warehouses for the incorrigible or greenhouses for the redeemable." Edwina Grosvenor