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

Award Winners

Nikki Dennington is praised as ‘one of the best prison art tutors’ and gets the best out of her students, while Denis Lewis is a manager in youth justice who is consistently inspiring colleagues and young people alike. There were ten heartfelt nominations by offenders for Laura Jacobs who ‘changed their lives forever’, and lots of praise for Florence Alake’s combination of grace and truly exemplary jailcraft.

David Hill is taking prison food to a whole new level. Terence Rowley is reducing self-harm while creating a beautiful environment with bees, chickens – and lizards, while Steve Whitehead & David Wilson have transformed Hull prison’s grounds into award-winning gardens (also with chickens).

Three Awards go to really remarkable probation practitioners: Alice Burrows has a gift for always seeing that ‘glimmer of hope’; Sarah Viner’s ‘innate ability’ with challenging cases spans over 30 years; and Kirsten Amphlett is called ‘an incomparable gem’. Taken together, all three show the very best of the probation services at work.

Florence Alake (HMP & YOI Isis)
[keywords: staff/prisoner relationships, jailcraft]
Kirsten Amphlett (National Probation Service, South West & South Central)
[keywords: public protection, mental health, offender management]
Alice Burrows (London CRC)
[keywords: public protection, mental health, offender management]
Nikki Dennington (HMP & YOI Standford Hill)
[keywords: education, arts]
David Hill (HMP Buckley Hall)
[keywords: food, offender management]
Laura Jacobs (HMP Grendon)
[therapeutic community, psychology]
Denis Lewis (Leeds Youth Offending Team)
[keywords: young offenders, children, diversity]
Terence Rowley (HMP & YOI Brinsford)
[keywords: self-harm, education, environment]
Sarah Viner (London CRC)
[keywords: public protection, mental health, offender management]
Steve Whitehead & David Wilson (HMP & YOI Hull)
[keywords: mentors, education, environment]


There’s yet more remarkable probation practice among the Commendees, too, from Chloe Blake, who deals with ‘highly challenging and often dangerous people’, and from Emmy Mercan, who has pioneered an inspirational women’s Breakfast Club. Meanwhile Simon Bland is showing how music reaches, engages, and provides focus for offenders. Work by Tim Morris with a radio station is helping transform Liverpool prison, and there’s another Liverpool Commendee, too, in John Woolham, who is leading the prison’s charge on a decent and clean environment.

There’s outstanding work in youth justice from Claire McCartney, an amazing manager who runs a world-class Scottish education and care centre, and in London, from Holly Thurman, who brings her exceptional gifts to highly challenging cases. Talking of which, Dave Wood brings remarkable management skills to a Close Supervision Centre holding ‘some of the most difficult, violent and dangerous men in the prison system‘. Heather Bestwick has infused autism awareness and responsiveness into her prison while helping it win National Autism Accreditation status.

Ryan Brewster was inspired to partner with Andy’s Man Club – which is now showing men inside that ‘#ItsGoodToTalk’. Pauline Miller-Brown has turned the challenges of the resettlement process into an incredible initiative from food and transport to accommodation and suitcases. Superb jailcraft features prominently in the work of Michael Brigginshaw, described by his Governor as ‘an example of what excellence looks like‘. Mark Godman, too, is praised for his empathetic jailcraft among women offenders – who made moving testimonials.

Tracy Perry is ‘a quietly amazing administrator‘, always thinking of ways to improve things for the men at HMP Ford, while Danny Terrey has been crucial to transforming gardens and other spaces into ‘the jewel in Portland’s crown‘. Ed Horwood’s clever invention of a ‘Pop Up Shed’ is inspiring young offenders (and their mums) – and helping them make reparations. Adrian Tayler’s work on a Victim Impact Programme in Northern Ireland is making a remarkable impact.

Military skills are a theme with two Commendations. After a career in Wetherby prison, Keith Daniel now uses his retirement to volunteer as a drill instructor. Meanwhile, Steve Coffield took his own army experience and, alongside Mark Kendal, created a challenging and highly effective Personal Achievement & Development Scheme. Deborah McLening & Lisa Udale are Commended for leading a successful initiative recruiting ex-offender case support workers to reach high-risk service users. And the Recycling Lives project boasts two Winners this year: Yvonne Grime, who is managing and inspiring women prisoners with ‘unrivalled empathy’, and Barry Flanagan, who also brings a ‘deep empathy’ to helping people grow and succeed in navigating their way back into society.

Heather Bestwick (HMP Whatton)
[keywords: autism, mental health, offender management]
Chloe Blake (National Probation Service, South West & South Central)
[keywords: public protection, mental health, offender management]
Simon Bland (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland CRC)
[keywords: arts, music, mental health, offender management]
Ryan Brewster (Yorkshire Prisons Group)
[keywords: mental health, self-harm, offender management]
Michael Brigginshaw (HMP & YOI Woodhill)
[keywords: safer custody, jailcraft, offender management]
Steve Coffield & Mark Kendal (HMP Humber)
[keywords: education, training, offender management]
Keith Daniel (HMYOI Wetherby)
[keywords: volunteering, education, training]
Barry Flanagan (HMP & YOI Wymott)
[keywords: education, training, rehabilitation]
Mark Godman (HMP & YOI East Sutton Park)
[keywords: female offenders, jailcraft, offender management]
Yvonne Grime (HMP & YOI Styal)
[keywords: female offenders, training, industries]
Ed Horwood (North Yorkshire Youth Offending Team)
[keywords: young offenders, education, training]
Claire McCartney (Youth Justice in Scotland)
[keywords: young offenders, education, mental health]
Deborah McLening & Lisa Udale (Kent, Surrey & Sussex CRC)
[keywords: rehabilitation, public protection, offender management]
Emmy Mercan (Kent, Surrey & Sussex CRC)
[keywords: female offenders, public protection, mental health, offender management]
Pauline Miller-Brown (HMP Oakwood)
[keywords: resettlement, offender management]
Tim Morris (HMP Liverpool)
[keywords: radio, education, offender management]
Tracy Perry (HMP Ford)
[keywords: administration, offender management]
Adrian Tayler (HMP Magilligan)
[keywords: victims, education, offender management]
Danny Terrey (HMP & YOI Portland)
[keywords: environment, education]
Holly Thurman (Croydon Youth Offending Team)
[keywords: young offenders, mental health, public protection]
Dave Wood (HMP Full Sutton)
[keywords: offender management, public protection]
John Woolham (HMP Liverpool)
[keywords: environment, decency, offender management]

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