Prisons – Advocacy

Catholic chaplains, charities and volunteers work in every prison throughout England and Wales – supporting thousands of prisoners and their families every year.

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Our vision for a more humane prison system is set out in The Right Road which proposes better mental health services, more opportunities for family contact, and greater use of Release on Temporary Licence. This work informs our regular engagement with the Ministry of Justice.

However it is also clear that reform can only go so far, while such large numbers of people are in prison. Last year we launched A Journey of Hope – a bold set of recommendations for reducing the prison population, such as replacing short sentences with community sentences.

We are also working hard to protect prisoners’ access to chaplaincy, which has proven benefits for rehabilitation and supporting those at risk of self-harm or suicide. Outside the prison gates we support initiatives like ‘Ban the Box’ which help people back into work after serving their sentence.

Links and documents

The Right Road
The Right Road’ draws expertise from Catholic chaplains, charities and experts working in the field of criminal justice, to make recommendations for prison reform in today’s context.
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A Journey of Hope
Bishop Richard Moth, the Lead Bishop for Prisons, has recently commissioned a report – A Journey of Hope – to explore how sentencing policy in England and Wales can be reformed.
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Belief and Belonging
Seventeen prisons took part and 332 prisoners responded to the survey which was carried out on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales by Lemos & Crane.
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Ban the Box
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has told delegates at a conference on prison chaplaincy that employers – Catholic organisations included – should exclude the tick box on initial job application forms requiring a person who has completed a prison sentence to disclose their conviction.