Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice



COMMENDEE 2011-12: Paul, from Manchester City College, set up Walton Radio at HMP Liverpool, providing a valuable communication tool for the prison and training opportunity for prisoners.


[Paul Moloney gives his account of the work for which he was awarded a Commendation]

Setting up a branded local radio station within establishment, catering for the population at HMP Liverpool, while serving the needs of the establishment, education provider and partner agencies. Designing and implementing an accredited radio production course. Creatively steering the radio station to suit its target audience. Managing a prisoner staff to produce twelve new hours of radio a week, focusing on challenging anti-social behaviour, and raising awareness for opportunities to reduce re-offending behaviour.

Working to move individuals forward through raising aspiration levels. The Walton Radio workshop has become an opportunity for participants to nurture a work ethic and feel responsible to the listeners. The radio is engaging and challenges those that make it and enjoy it.

There was no such project before I was invited to start it, and it has been a labour of love. The partnership working element is key to my role, liaising with outside opportunities for release, and raising the profile through radio, of provisions within the prison.

I created a mission statement for the radio: ‘we have the right to say what we want, we have the right to play the music we want, we have the responsibility to broadcast without causing offence’ I feel in my role I challenge negative impact, language and culture. As a radio manager and prison worker I challenge positively to encourage and to highlight opportunity. My job has brought me to a place of pride I have never felt in any other job I have had.

Here is a list of my day to day activities: Six hours training radio workers (Prisoners). Establishment meeting attendance to gather information to deliver over the radio. Championing equalities for prisoners and staff. Marketing the radio station, partner agencies, and education provision. Managing the radio content and schedule. Recording, editing and producing radio content. Seeking out all music content, sourcing audio for use. Managing, editing, creating weekly changing hundred slide power-point that plays while the radio is listened too. Visiting partner agencies in the community to promote them by radio to the listeners. Supporting learner achievement, through supported portfolio production and support, and assessment.

The awarding body for the radio qualification (NCFE) positively endorses what is being done within the workshop here. I currently advise on a focus group for national prison guidelines, and am actively supporting three other satellite prison radio stations via e-mail and quality assurance. Walton Radio is also producing pieces for National Prison Radio.

I manage the ‘Share a story with Dad’ it’s important here at HMP Liverpool, I work with prisoners to produce stories and recordings to be sent home to their children. This is an emotive project and I am proud of it and the effect it has.

My role is to be a go-between from the audience and those that want to communicate with them. I have done this by making myself visual and accessible to the population here. I have created a comfortable working space for prisoners to learn and be inspired. I am constantly surprised by my environment and that helps me creatively support the radio project.


[The following article appeared in issue 4 of the Butler Trust’s magazine, Inspire]

Broadcasting educational radio shows has earned Paul Moloney of HMP Liverpool a Butler Trust Commendation. Paul manages a team of ten prisoners who produce 12 hours of radio shows per week, including interviews with prison, agency and healthcare staff and visitors.

Prisoners working on the shows gain skills in radio production, customer services and team working, as well as becoming more confident and employable. They work towards the NCFE radio broadcasting qualification level 1 and level 2 and two participants have gone on to gain employment with broadcasting companies. Paul’s colleagues cite his drive, tenacity, energy and creativity as reasons for the station’s success.

For more information: contact HMP Liverpool

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