PRG currently supports over forty groups in more than thirty-five prisons nationwide. Our groups are varied and aimed at a range of target memberships: experienced or emergent readers; young offenders or older prisoners; vulnerable prisoners and those with mental health issues. All groups choose what they read and new copies of the books are provided for members to keep or pass on to family or other prisoners. Wherever possible, groups are run by outside volunteers with support from the prison library.
In 2015 PRG initiated a new project to support Family Days in prisons. With sponsorship from the Siobhan Dowd Trust and Give a Book, PRG provided books and book bags for 478 children visiting parents in twelve prisons. Read More…
With funding from the Wellcome Trust, PRG supports a reading group for women in a prison healthcare daycentre which caters for some of the prison’s most vulnerable people. The group meets weekly and reads a carefully chosen combination of poems and stories. The women comment on both the pleasure and the calming effects of reading and talking together and staff confirm this.
The women the daycentre serves are all under assessment for mental health issues…Many have suffered abuse and poor life experiences and few have coping strategies’
The women really love the group, it feels inclusive and safe. They all engage in it, whether reading and writing, listening or joining in discussions on different literary topics’
(daycentre staff member)
‘It takes me out of myself and out of the prison…the best part of my week’
PRG is currently developing a project to support reading groups in Thames Valley probation settings.