Only ex-offenders and prisoners truly understand the reality of what it’s like to live behind bars, the trauma and frustration of loss of freedom. This shared experience, which no one from the outside can understand creates a unique trusted bond between prisoners. ‘Lived Experience’ prisoners in turn have an expert view of what works, what doesn’t inside the prisons and how to avoid the box ticking money wasting exercises which fail to deliver on their promises. APF brings to the table a Lived Experience team, each with their own story and who have turned their lives around.
Connected Learning Journey and Experiences
APF advocates a joined-up approach with each programme tracked and evaluated thus providing real value for the individual as they progress on their resettlement pathway. ‘Learning by Doing’ – taking the lessons from programmes and having hands on experience not only produces cost efficiencies but also extends the learning experience for participants. These learning by doing opportunities will be offered our new AP Foundation media hub where participants can create content for the rehabilitation / trauma programmes.
The role of mentors and the value of peer intervention
‘Peer work generates new social relationships, which provide solidarity and the sharing of experience, strength and hope.’ – Prisons Service Journal Sept 2019 Supporting the AP Foundation, are ex-prisoners (Lived Experience) who now have become mentor role models for inmates to show them it is possible to break free from the cycle of violence, drugs and crime. Their role within the APF team is to provide first peer interventions for inmates as well as vulnerable youth in the community and to act as ongoing mentors. The vital role of mentors and peer intervention in their rehabilitation provides a strong focus on training prisoners and ex-offenders to be mentors so they can in turn mentor new arrivals, learning skills in the process of learning by doing.
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Young adult offenders often relate to those who have ‘walked in their shoes’, those who have the lived experience of the criminal justice system. The AP Foundation believe that the ex-offender community has an important role to play in resettlement and rehabilitation.
Arts, culture and media programmes are also an effective way of engaging difficult to engage young adult people in productive activities connected with their leisure interests, developing their vocational and transferable employment skills, boosting their employability and reducing re-offending.