Busy day/week of desistance stuff….

Day two of the project and, despite a stinking cold, it got off to a great start. I met Pete White for a coffee in town — Pete and four others are in the process of setting up an ex-offender network in Scotland (with support from the Robertson Trust). They convened a really productive meeting in Edinburgh last week (which I showed up for exactly 24 hours late, but that’s another story). After his coffee with me, Pete went off to meet with staff in the Scottish Government, who are keen to engage with service user and ex-offender perspectives in the development of their ‘Reducing Reoffending’ programme. Pete and I agreed to keep on building these links — clearly the network could bring a lot of hard-earned experience to the Discovering Desistance project.

As if that wasn’t enough, this afternoon I’m off to IRISS (the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services) to record a podcast on ‘Supporting Desistance: Rethinking Penal Practice’. The idea is that this can be an open access free resource for organisations and practitioners to use to try to engage with desistance research and its implications for how they do their work. I’ll post a link once it’s ready.

The podcast is also hopefully a way of reducing my carbon footprint!… I’ve been doing alot of inputs to probation and prisons conferences lately (and for the last few years). Though that can be productive (and a lot of fun), it can also be frustrating — I have no way of gauging whether it has any real impact. So, lately, I’ve been thinking about developing a way of moving beyond ‘talking’ and into a more active engagement. Last week I spent a day with a group of managers and practitioners from Kent Probation Trust. Once we got the input out of the way, we spent most of the time trying to think through the implications for their strategy and their practice. It seemed a much more tangibly useful way to engage in knowledge exchange — at least in that they left with a clear plan of action for their Trust.

Finally, I’m just finishing off a paper on the role of arts projects in prisons in inspiring desistance. Since this is going to be published in a Dutch journal, I’ll try to get permission to post an English version here — so watch this space.

And I’ve been reviewing what the other guys have been doing on the film script. It’s shaping up very nicely — really exciting stuff.

Fergus

4 thoughts on “Busy day/week of desistance stuff….”

  1. Thanks to Fergus for sending the link to the blog. I wasn’t aware of this project which is fascinating and seems to hold out a lot of opportunities. Will be watching from Wales with interest!

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