prisons Awareness Course - Resources
Before diving into the Prisons Awareness Course, you may enjoy taking the time to read through our participant workbook. This will offer an overview of the topics ahead, and allow you to reflect upon your preconceived ideas and notions about welcoming prison leavers into your faith community. You can also read, download and print the course slides to accompany the sessions and for you to refer back to at a later date.
SESSION 1 - BEYOND THE PRISON GATES
What do you think about people leaving prison? Many prisons stand enclosed behind a 25ft fence and unless it is an open prison, most prisoners are confined to often cramped cells for much of the time, hidden away from the general public; forgotten.
Many of our ideas about prisons and prisoners are learnt from movies or stories in newspapers; many of those views can be biased, outdated or unhelpful, particularly as we think about welcoming people who have spent time in prison into the heart of faith communities on the outside. Unless we have experienced it for ourselves, it can be hard to understand the consequences of a prison sentence and what support can make a difference.
This first session will introduce you to themes, ideas and information designed to lead you to a greater understanding of the issues surrounding imprisonment and release. We welcome you to begin reflecting on these themes now, through exploring the videos and resources on this page.
SESSION 2 - FAITH IN PRISON
So what is a prison like? What happens when someone is released? Leaving prison and trying to settle in another community can be like standing at the foot of a cliff. Climbing up can be difficult and it is easy to fall! A guide and the right supports can make the climb easier.
This session gives you the opportunity to engage in conversations with prison leavers and both prison and community chaplains to explore the role of faith in the journey through the gates.
SESSION 3 - WHO WE ARE
Faith communities can offer a spiritual home, a friendly community of steady and supportive relationships as well as appropriate practical assistance to people leaving prison.
This third session explores the connections between faith communities at their best and some of the aspects research has shown are important to help people leaving prison to build towards a new life that is free from crime.
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