Project of 2016 in Bedfordshire: The OMW (on my way) Empowerment Programme is by far our biggest and most significant success of the past year. It has helped to transform the lives of not only those who attended the courses but also those who may have become victims of crime in the future. In recognition of my corporate social responsibility, we worked in collaboration with Crimebeat, HMP Bedford and two other local business to deliver this project.
The project was to support offenders, through workshops, with attitude, thinking and behaviour strategies to break their pattern of re-offending, delivered within HMP Bedford to male offenders nearing the end of their sentence. It was important to us that we were able to deliver without the presence of prison staff; this allowed us to gain the confidence of attendees enabling better dialogue.
The project delivered 16 workshops at Bedford Prison to prepare participants for release from prison. Each participant received 2 x 3hr workshops within the same week.
This piece of work attracted regional attention and featured heavily in local press. It was considered a successful project by staff at the prison and led to the roll out of additional workshop modules on anger management and financial management, to a much greater number of inmates. Currently, we are looking at options for rolling this out nationally to support the recommendations within the Criminal Justice Reform Act.