Lee says: “but it’s like when the judge says four-and-a-half years, you think “oh shit…”

“I was on bail for 18 months and I couldn’t take a contract on because it would’ve been in excess of 12 months. I’d already put a tender in, I’d got a job basically, but I couldn’t take it, so I had to sit around doing bit-part jobs while I waited to go to court. … More Lee says: “but it’s like when the judge says four-and-a-half years, you think “oh shit…”

Alfie says: “finding out about myself. I think prison does a lot of that, and it’s a big time for reflection…”

“To summarise, I am hoping to benefit from the two years in custody as best I can, to make the most of it, to look back on, to reflect and say I’ve made a difference to my life, and to really come out of it, and to make the future brighter for myself. I think … More Alfie says: “finding out about myself. I think prison does a lot of that, and it’s a big time for reflection…”

Quentin says: “I couldn’t do another year, put it that way. Not a chance. It’s tougher than I thought.”

“I’ve been giving this a lot of thought because when people are reading the PeN Project, there’s an assumption about people in prison. I’m here to burst that assumption because whoever is reading this, the assumption will be that I’m from a low education background, that I’m from a sink estate somewhere, that I’m on … More Quentin says: “I couldn’t do another year, put it that way. Not a chance. It’s tougher than I thought.”

Benny Says: “I’m not broken, I’m just changing. I am transforming…”

“When I come out of prison I’ve got somewhere to live. I’m hoping to go back to teaching if I can. I used to do that and loved it. If I can’t do that or I need to earn money from day one, then the answer is I don’t really know. I’ve got a couple … More Benny Says: “I’m not broken, I’m just changing. I am transforming…”

Lee says: “As soon as you say you’re an ex-convict, “next”, that’s the way it goes…”

“It’s a learning curve. If I was bitter and angry, I wouldn’t be on the resettlement wing and coming out here. I’ve come through the whole system, not one nicking, haven’t even said ‘boo’ to a goose… When I actually get released in December, I leave on the Friday and I start work on the … More Lee says: “As soon as you say you’re an ex-convict, “next”, that’s the way it goes…”

George says: “Prison has made me a better person…”

“What have I done since January? Planters, been building planters. They’ve been selling, none left, all sold. Picnic-benches, they’ve gone. Mirrors… I had a counselling session with Becca and she was going through these stones … where were you before you went to prison? where are you in prison? where were you during prison? where … More George says: “Prison has made me a better person…”

Dimone says: “Learn to bloom as you put it. I’m blooming with my cooking…”

“I was homeless and I was robbing from shops to feed myself and stuff like that and I got caught. That’s how I ended up going to court and then coming here. That’s how it went down really… I was homeless for about a year. I was verified homeless in [Town]. Verified means if someone … More Dimone says: “Learn to bloom as you put it. I’m blooming with my cooking…”

Helen says: “I want to move forward and being here makes me feel positive in moving forward all the time..”

“I was brave enough to get out of an abusive relationship and then just so fortunate to have been pointed towards this project. It’s just been miraculous. The support network and everything is so positive, instead of putting you down and being badged as this or that. It’s great I’m out and the fact I … More Helen says: “I want to move forward and being here makes me feel positive in moving forward all the time..”

Lee says: “For 18 months I’ve been sat in that prison with a stagnant mind. I need something to do and here it is…”

“There are the things that the courts never gets to hear, because the police say you are this, this is what you are. I’m a hard-working person and this is what I do, but all they heard was ‘this is what he is’ and ‘that’s what he is’ and ‘this is because we think this’. … More Lee says: “For 18 months I’ve been sat in that prison with a stagnant mind. I need something to do and here it is…”