What I love about prison work is that there is no one day that's the same. It keeps every day interesting. I'm never sat at my desk looking at the clock thinking "this day is dragging."
Work in prison can be unpredictable, and sometimes your well thought out plans will have to be abandoned at the last minute. Sometimes you have to roll with change and resistance. So it's always important to have plan B and C.
I spend most of my time on the wings, engaging with prisoners either mentoring or being mentored. Posters and global emails do help raise awareness, but nothing beats being a familiar face on the wings that prisoners can approach. It also gives me the best possible insight into what's working and what isn't with the programme.
A couple of times a month I meet with the volunteer to run mentor trainings, meetings and celebration events. I meet regularly with officers, education department, governors to share learning and gain further perspectives. I gather and collate monthly data on learner completions, number of sessions and the general impact. I enjoy the combination of facilitation with monitoring and evaluation as the two elements lend into each other.
It's a role like any other where you get out what you put in - you have to be proactive and use your creativity. This is not only supported but encouraged by my manager, which is not always something I've experienced in other roles.
It's certainly not for everyone, but for me it's a fantastic opportunity and a really enjoyable job.
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