One Postcode is a mediation and mentorship programme designed to tackle the rising tide of gang feuds occurring between groups of young adult prisoners while in prison.

Prisons remain unsafe for those who live and work there. Rates of self-harm and assaults are at the highest level ever recorded; and assaults on staff have more than tripled in just five years.

Prison Reform Trust – June 2019

One Postcode aims to reduce violence and resolve conflicts in prison and to help those who take part to disengage permanently from gang culture. Central to our programme is the recruitment of peer mentors from amongst prominent and trusted prisoners currently in custody, prisoners who are respected and held in high regard by the young adult prisoners. They will be trained in mediation and conflict resolution (Level 3 NVQ) so that they can work effectively with gang leaders and members.

The course will be run by a professional course leader and two peer mentors.

Incentives will be offered to young adult offenders to enrol in the programme and rewards and privileges will be given to those who complete the programme and maintain good behaviour.

To be franchised across the Prison Network.

  • 5-day programme
  • 4 courses a year in each establishment
  • Course Leader
  • 2 Peer Mentors
  • 10 Young Adult Offenders

“The programme is run by a professional leader and two peer mentors who understand gang culture. To try and stop the gang fighting while in custody and hence wanted them all to live under One Postcode, that of Belmarsh. The training took place over a week and all the prisoners loved it, felt empowered and had the skills to deal with prisoners who wanted to live violently while in custody.

We look forward to a fresh group who have signed up to the One Postcode and they canhelp promote a violent free environment to live in and hopefully take this thought process away with them either on release or into other establishments”.

Beverley Clark (Governor, Safer Custody HMP Belmarsh)

“In response to the rising levels of violence in prisons the Safer Prisons team and a motivated group of prisoners examined some of the underlying casual factors and what could be done to address these. … What developed was the One Post Code initiative. … Initial results saw a significant number of resolutions of known conflicts across the establishment. … The project has had clear success”.  

Anthony Travers (Head of Safer Prisons, HMP Belmarsh)

“…our One Postcode Mentors have facilitated over 30 successful non-violent gang conflict resolutions, also violence, including assaults on staff have dropped to a minimum.” 

Steve Branch (Safer Custody Officer, HMP Belmarsh)