Ex-prisoners stories

Our aim at Unlocked Graduates is to attract innovative leaders into the prison service to apply fresh thinking and new ideas that help prisoners to make better, more positive choices. Learn from ex-offenders as they reflect their views on rehabilitation.

Caryn, ex-prisoner HMP Bronzefield & East Sutton Park

“Prisoner Officers are an integral part of a prisoner’s rehabilitation. During my time in prison, without the positivity and motivation that I was given by my officer I would not be in the position I am today: I am in paid employment helping women ex-offenders find sustainable, quality work and I’m privately renting my own place. The story could have been so different.

When arriving in closed conditions, I met the extremes of a Prison Officer during my stay. The officer who enjoyed the power of locking doors and making me feel like just another number – a worthless creature who had no right to have a voice. And then there was the officer who saw past the number and took their time to get to know me by my name. That officer was willing to listen to me, and to understand why I was there. They showed empathy and understanding, but also motivated me to do better and move forward. I have such respect and admiration for officers who understand how important their role is within the prison system. It takes a special person to do this job, but I believe the reward is tenfold. As a prison officer you can make a difference to so many people’s lives.”