During a year in which prisons again made negative headlines, the Butler Trust’s Director, Simon Shepherd, has been quietly exploring the opposite: what’s positive about our prisons? In an ambitious undertaking, he’s visiting every closed prison in England and Wales to ask individual groups of prisoners, officers, and managers, an unusual question: “What’s good about this prison?”
Simon has, so far, travelled over 9,000 miles and held 186 forums, involving over 1000 people, across 62 prisons. Results from each visit are posted online, along with a running total of prisons visited, days spent on the road, miles travelled, and forums held, at GoodBookofPrisons.com. In due course there will be a more detailed narrative report to accompany the full set of results and the Butler Trust will publish a book.