Reforming Prisons Together

close-up_of_keysInvolve has won a grant from the Ministry of Justice to work with two prisons in Teesside, Kirklevington Grange and Holme House*, on a project to explore what more open governance means in the prisons context and whether it supports the work of the two prisons to reduce reoffending.

Kirklevington Grange and Holme House are two of the six ‘trailblazer’ reform prisons announced earlier this year.

We will be working with the Executive Governor and the senior leadership team on a number of interlinked strands of work:

  • developing more open and accountable forms of decision making;
  • supporting prison staff to be more confident in listening actively to wider community perspectives;
  • trialling a participatory budgeting process using money generated by the two prisons;
  • supporting the development of more effective partnership working and co-production between the prisons and civil society in Teesside;
  • engaging the local business community to identify more work placement opportunities for prisoners; and
  • providing more general support and mentoring for prison staff on engagement best practice.

Our work will be independently evaluated and a significant element of our work will focus on sharing our learning and supporting a wider debate about the role that greater openness can play in supporting the work of prisons.

* since starting the project, two more prisons (Deerbolt and Durham) have joined the group. They are now known collectively as the Teesside and Wear Reform Prisons.

Picture Credit: By martinak15 from United States (54/365 Locked) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Blog October 20, 2016 – Simon Burall

Prisons are, in a very obvious sense, closed institutions. For the prisoners at least they must be, playing as they do an important role for society; both punishing those who commit crimes by depriving them…

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