So pleased to be given the opportunity to see round Drake Hall women’s prison near Eccleshall and hear about the education & life-skills, workshops with training courses, paid outwork programs and gardens supplying fresh produce for prison meals cooked on site. Despite aging Nissan Hut accommodation in some of the wings, there is an upbeat mood about the place, with calming green spaces inside the perimeter fences, no bars on the windows and many incentives to earn privileges. We heard about their enabling environment and the opportunities they promote to rehabilitate and re-integrate back into society. It was interesting to see the open section for prisoners in the last three years of their sentence, designed to help women adjust to normal life, catering for themselves and going out to find jobs locally.
My thanks to Governor Carl Hardwick for showing us round. My wife and I, and my chaplain Rev’d Gerald Gardiner appreciated the time he spent with us, and we all enjoyed the chicken & chips cooked by women on the catering skills program.