Positive Prison? Positive Futures…is a community of interest which draws upon the shared lived experiences of people who are or have been subject to punishment.
The recognition of people with convictions as citizens
FAIRER SOCIETY and SAFER COMMUNITIES
We contribute to the improvement of Scotland’s justice system to reduce the harms caused by offending and to bring about changes in public opinion to support the integration of people who are, or have been, subject to punishment.
WHO ARE WE?
Within Scotland we are a unique organisation in that our origins, agenda and ongoing work are peer led by people with lived experience of the Scottish justice system. We engage with people subject to punishment in custody and the community to represent their experiences and ambitions to the Scottish Government, Parliament, local authorities, statutory services and third sector organisations. In addition we engage with academic research, national and local conferences and projects all with a view to promoting and enabling the right of people with convictions to be recognised as citizens.
We believe that the experience of people with convictions who have effectively rebuilt their lives can make a unique, immense and invaluable contribution to the changes required at national, community and individual levels to reduce offending in Scotland
WHY IS CHANGE REQUIRED?
The extent of harm to victims, families and communities caused by offending in Scotland is unacceptable. Safer Communities will help prevent the next generation from becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
Transformation is required in the way people who have offended are punished and how they are treated on their return to the community.
WHERE HAVE WE COME FROM AND WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED SO FAR?
From? Our core team have all rebuilt their lives after punishment
In 2011 before the idea of PP?PF started to become a reality people punished by imprisonment for having broken the law were not:
- recognised by the Scottish Government as key stakeholders in matters relating to justice
- called to give evidence to the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament on issues relating to justice and prisons
- invited to meetings with Scottish Ministers
- asked to work with the police to act as adult role models
- involved in the delivery of awareness raising training to members of the Judiciary or Scottish Prison Service staff
- contributors to the redesign of community justice in Scotland
- working with banks to make it possible for prisoners to open basic bank accounts whilst still imprisoned
- invited to work with the DWP to improve the benefits process for people on release from imprisonment
- permitted to be released one or two days early if this would improve their prospects for rehabilitation
- seen as people with convictions but were identified as “ex-prisoners” and “ex-offenders”
Now, in 2016, we are…
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
- Developing our engagement with people subject to punishment in custody and in the community to:
- Meet with people who are or have been subject to punishment to learn from their experiences
- Engaging with Scottish Government, Scottish Prison Service and academic research to:
- contribute to policy development relating to justice
- influence changes to legislation and practice
- Devising campaigns to:
- Reduce the stigma of conviction and imprisonment
- Ensure continuity of NHS provision
- Establish voting rights for prisoners
- Ensure access to education for people with convictions
- ID for people leaving prison
- Suitable bags for people to take their belongings away from prison
- Facilitate access to information for serving prisoners, their families and other in the community
- Collaborating with service providers, local agencies organisations and statutory services across Scotland to:
- Improve the provision of accommodation for people leaving prison
- Ensure continuity of NHS provision through release
- Set up secure storage of personal property of people losing tenancy due to imprisonment
- Make DLA/PIP claims available to serving prisoners
- Make bank accounts and credit union membership available for serving prisoners
- Facilitate training for prisoners in conflict resolution, non-violent conversation etc