Person to Person Course at HMP Erlestoke Feedback

"This project has also showed me how to view other people’s opinions and respect them. I would normally get aggressive if someone never agreed with my point or I never agreed with their point, but now I try to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do. It is a better way of communicating, I believe because there is not so much tension or confrontation involved which normally turn out in conflict and not a conversation."

"This course will help me with my health trainers course" - Inmate

"By learning to communicate effectively, I will be able to move quickly to grasp information from others and to put my ideas across effectively" — Inmate

"Course has been invaluable in helping identify and manage communication difficulties. Improved my self awareness and taught me to be a better listener" — Inmate

"I came to prison with a seven-year sentence and asked for help. I did not cut myself or try to kill myself, I just cried and asked for help. I needed to be me, the person I wanted to be, but was too scared to try. I needed to trust again, trust in myself, in teachers and people with good advice. I needed to grow. I felt like I was bad all over and shrivelled like a raisin, but there was a seed inside me that felt pure and untouched and full of power and the water for that seed was knowledge. I wanted to know why I ended up the way I did and what I could do to be the person I knew I really was. I wanted to know how to make things better for myself and the people around me that loved me still, and the more I learned the more I wanted to learn about the psychology of the human mind, my mind in particular."

"The qualities I have learned in this project so far I can say has made a good change in me in the way I receive people’s information and not judge them but accept."

"Accepting people how they are: the prison setting is the perfect example of the large diversity of people in the world. Although inmates might be here for hideous crimes, I’ve had practice to look past their crimes and see the emotions that we are dealing with. I’ve spoken to rapists, paedophiles and racist inmates and I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I’ve listened without the hindrance of disgust.

"I never thought about things that make me mad or upset it was very in helping me understand myself a lot better and a avoid them since doing my class I think it have change so much I’m a new person and my head can think clearer I think this class should be done in every jail in the country it would stop people reoffending and make them want to change like me and my class mates it was a very good idea to do this class in jail thank you for helping me change my life."


'Concord Pilot'

written by 'Inmate from HMP Erlestoke'

I'm an excellent listener and don't interrupt
You have my attention and trust,
Take your time,
You'll be just fine,
And take a break anytime if you must

I'll read your body language; I know we'll manage
To understand each other.
Our duet will be neat,
We'll sing off the same sheet,
But I won't be your brother or mother.

So start when you like, there's no hidden 'mike',
I'll be listening to all that you say.
I'll take some notes, but don't worry you see,
Confidentiality is paramount to me,
Not a word, leaves this room, today.

Communication, without remuneration,
I'm a pro bono councillor you see.
I hear what you say,
But there's nothing to pay,
So relax; you can speak freely to me.

Feedback from a student on our Crisis course, January 2017

Thank you for having me at Crisis and allowing me to attend your course on Interpersonal Communication.

I would like you to know that this is one of the most enriching and interesting, life changing experiences that I have ever had, for the following reasons:

1. The teachers are experienced and set very clear professional boundaries.

2. The group are the nicest group I have ever had the privilege to be part of; they are courteous, safe, helpful and considerate adhering to the class contract at all the times.

3. The course is based around a time line of our lives which help us to explore the major life events and how they have helped or hinderedour progress and journey as people. We also look at the triggers that evoke unhealthy responses and self
destructive behaviours with the intent of finding alternative ways to interact that lead to a more fulfilling relationship or career and family opportunities which decrease isolation and enhance fulfilment.

We are being taught what constitutes good listening skills, empathy and the joys of relating, anger management alternatives and change, projection, so far.

We do lots of exercises with different people to explore what we have been taught and there are two assignments of which one is personal and we read it to the class to have an emphatic response. The group were very interested in my life story and listened well with rich responses of kindness and understanding.

We also will be writing an assignment on all the course material that we have been given.

It is challenging and rewarding and I am glad it is 6 weeks; long enough to make progress but not too long to feel possibly vulnerable after so much sharing.

Please forward this to the tutors and just to let you know I am starting Art Therapy tomorrow which I am very excited about.