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Successful first Good Vibrations course at HMP Pentonville, July 2013

Excellent first course at HMP Pentonville last week, working with VPs (Vulnerable Prisoners).  VPs are kept separately from other prisoners, for their own safety, and therefore have far fewer opportunities to engage in positive group activities.  Sample feedback from guys completing the course: 

– This has got us out of our cell for 4 hours a day and it’s given us something to learn

– There are people here on this course that I have never spoken with before [even though they are on the same landing]

– There were people here who were really locked away in themselves who you can see this has really brought them out of themselves
– Because of the wing we are on we are not allowed to take part in the vast majority of education. This past week’s course was an opportunity to get out of the cell. I would do anything to keep occupied, once I was here I genuinely forgot where I was at varying moments, this has given me the strength to get through the rest of my sentence.
– There is a general feeling of injustice because we are treated differently and at a lower level to the other prisoners.
– transformative, [liked the] cultural aspect
– Opened us up to each other
– I suffer from depression and self-harm, since I started this course I haven’t self harmed once. It’s been really therapeutic. I’ve also had the opportunity to build relationships with other people on my wing now, which will help me to feel less alone.
– Some of the things we talked about this week, we don’t get the chance to discuss on the wing
Prison staff involved were also very positive, and they provided consistently positive, thoughtful and well-organised support for our course, which we are always grateful for!
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Photography by Toby Madden/The Independent, Osman Deen/South London Press, Camilla Panufnik, Elspeth Van Der Hole, GDA Design, Gigi Chiying Lam, G. Bland, Alan Bryden, Mark Carlin, Rachel Cherry, Francois Boutemy, Andy Hollingworth, Rebaz Yassin, and Guy Smallman.

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