BREAK DIVIDING WALLS—a better understanding
What is a prison inmate? A few facts:
· More than 62% of people entering prison have a reading age of 11 .
· Between 10-12% are on remand awaiting trial—some for up to 2 years.
· 50% of children in prison have been in local authority care.
· More than 1 in 7 prisoners become drug addicts in prison
· 45% lose touch with their families, many never receive a visit from anyone.
· Rates of self-harm in prison and suicides are at the highest level ever recorded
· The fastest growing age group in prisons is the over 60’s many who will finish their lives inside.
(facts from The Prison Reform Trust )
· Behind prison walls the Body of Christ is growing. Men and women are becoming Christians every day.
· Half of respondents to a 2016 YouGov survey said that they would not employ an ex-offender.
· One in seven people who left prison in the year to March 2018 were homeless.
Oscar Wilde on his release from Reading jail: “Many men on their release carry their prison along with them into the air, hide it as a secret disgrace in their hearts, and at length like poor poisoned things creep into some hole and die. It is wretched that they should have to do so, and it is wrong, terribly wrong, of Society that it should force them to do so. When the man’s punishment is over, it leaves him to himself: that is to say it abandons him at the very moment when its highest duty towards him begins. It shuns those whom it has punished, as people shun a creditor whose debt they cannot pay, or one on whom they have inflicted an irreparable, an irredeemable wrong. I claim on my side that if I realise what I have suffered, Society should realise what it has inflicted on me: and there should be no bitterness of that on either side.”