Prisons Week runs from 9th to 15th October and is a week-long prayer initiative that encourages churches to pray for everyone in and impacted by prison, including prisoners, staff, families of prisoners and victims.
Download the Prisons Week leaflet here
Motivated by Christian concern and rooted in the belief that people can change, Prisons Week has long inspired the church to pray for reform in the Criminal Justice system and change in the UK’s prisons.
The 40-year old initiative was formed in response to the dire need within the Criminal Justice system for radical change. In recent years, the prison population has almost doubled and currently stands at around 84,967. Sadly, 96,801 children have a parent in prison, with research showing that this increases the likelihood of children growing up to commit crime.
Suicide rates have also shown a sharp increase in recent years with 89 suicides in both 2014 and 2015 – the highest rates of self-inflicted deaths since 2007. By the end of March 2016, 27 suicides had already taken place.
Following a spate of funding cuts, the prison system has seen staff numbers drop by 30% in the last six years and prison overcrowding affecting 63% of prisons.*
The prison reform agenda has been a high priority for the Government, with far-reaching changes in the Criminal Justice system taking place in the last five years. Arguably, the biggest change has been Transforming Rehabilitation, the reformation of the Probation Service which introduced private sector companies into the probation market for managing low to medium risk offenders.
Prisons Week will be launched at HMP Pentonville in a special service hosted by Bishop James Langstaff, Bishop to Prisons. Over 80,000 leaflets have been distributed across the UK to churches, Christian communities and individuals.