"Jail where inmates are on first-name terms honoured"
"Longford award for prison accused of being too soft with prisoners"
By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor
The Independent newspaper
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
A prison which has achieved stunning results in reducing offending by
dangerous and disturbed criminals – often in the face of hostility from
prison bosses – will be honoured today for its pioneering work.
Grendon Prison, where inmates are called by their first names and forced
to confront their problems in intensive group-therapy sessions, has been
operating its scheme for almost half a century. Its controversial
methods have led to suspicions that its regime is a "soft touch" for
hardened criminals and, at times, its future has seemed precarious. But
reoffending rates among its inmates are far lower than elsewhere in the
prison system, and levels of violence and self-harm among the lowest in
the country. In recognition of its achievement in offering a "beacon of
hope", Grendon will be awarded the Longford Prize, sponsored by The
Dr. Craig Fees, RMSA
Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments
"A research and study centre of the University of Birmingham
Hosted by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust"
Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre
Toddington near Cheltenham
Glos. GL54 5DQ