Lee says: “It just took a little bit of time for me to realise that there are nice people in the world…”

“It’s like in Prison, you start talking to someone, you know within a few minutes whether they’re full of shit, whether they’re telling the truth, whether they’re making up … you know, everything comes in that first few moments and it’s “bye” or you keep talking. Those are the options. Going home’s going to be … More Lee says: “It just took a little bit of time for me to realise that there are nice people in the world…”

Sean says: “This is a whole new section now. New beginnings. I’m looking forward to it…”

“I had visions of having Hi-Vis on, ‘community service’ written on, picking up rubbish in a field or something, thought it would be something degrading to be honest. It was completely the opposite. Fell on my feet massively. From what I understand that’s what community service is… well, back in my Town it was anyway. … More Sean says: “This is a whole new section now. New beginnings. I’m looking forward to it…”

Holly says: “It’s so nice to come here and get away from the hustle and bustle of life and be an equal…”

“I’m a florist. I love gardening. I love crafts, handcrafts and all sorts of stuff. Anything arty, crafty. Gardening is probably the best way to describe me. I love working with people and being a good team, helping out… I’ve been coming up since the beginning of May. It’s varied because I do work as … More Holly says: “It’s so nice to come here and get away from the hustle and bustle of life and be an equal…”

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…”