Skip to content
We use cookies to improve your experience online. If you click Reject we will set a single cookie to remember your preference. Find out more in our terms & conditions.

Driving system change

Driving system change

2022 Conference Back to top

On Thursday 17th March (10:30 -17:00), participants, delegates and ambassadors are invited to join us for an engaging day of discussions and insights focused on driving system change.

This year, we will offer the opportunity to hear from a range of leaders from within prisons and across the prison service, with an emphasis on providing a space to share ideas, innovation, and best practice that will inspire action and impact in prisons across the UK.

The day’s sessions will be run by key experts from across the criminal justice sector, as well as Ambassadors of the Unlocked programme who have gone on to make an impact in prisons in a whole range of inspirational ways.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception (17:00 – 18:00).

Feedback Survey 

  • Opening session: Driving system change

    10:30 - 12:00
    Reducing reoffending: what works and what can we do?


    Room: The Studio

    We are delighted that Peter Dawson, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, will be our keynote speaker. He will be joined by Unlocked CEO Natasha Porter and Unlocked Ambassador Sabrina Parkins.


    Natasha Porter

    CEO of Unlocked Graduates

    Natasha is founder and CEO at Unlocked Graduates. She developed the concept while working with Dame Sally Coates on her review into prison education, and has led the organisation from its inception in 2016. Since then, Unlocked Graduates has recruited over 500 graduates to be prison officers, working with over 10,000 prisoners across the country.

    Natasha has a background in public sector start up and was previously a teacher and senior leader in inner city schools. This included co-founding King Solomon Academy and leading their frontier cohort to groundbreaking GCSE results in 2014. Natasha has also worked as a government adviser and in the Westminster think tank Policy Exchange.

    In her spare time, Natasha is an advisor to the Children’s Commissioner and a charity trustee at Impetus PEF and Get Further, with a particular interest in improving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. She also sits on the Grants and Evaluation committee at the Youth Endowment Fund and the Building Future’s Advisory Board at Prison Reform Trust.

    Keynote: Peter Dawson

    Director of the Prison Reform Trust

    Peter Dawson is Director of the Prison Reform Trust. He spent the first 15 years of his career working in the Home Office in a variety of policy and managerial roles. This included two spells in the then Prison Department, culminating in a period on the Prisons Board.  He left Whitehall in 1999 to pursue a career within the operational arm of the Prison Service, working as a prison officer in HMP Brixton before returning there as Deputy Governor in 2002, and subsequently governing both HMP Downview (then a prison for women) and HMP High Down between 2005 and 2012. While at High Down, he oversaw the opening of the first “Clink” restaurant, and the prison became a centre for innovation, hosting new projects such as the Restore programme run by The Forgiveness Project.

    In 2012, Peter left the public sector to join Sodexo Justice Services, and led the operational design and mobilisation of the company’s successful bids to run new community rehabilitation companies in 6 different regions. Peter spent 7 years as a Trustee for the Kenward Trust, a Kent based charity dedicated to the care of people with substance misuse problems, and is Patron of the Michael Varah Memorial Fund, a small grant giving charity. He also acted as an adviser to the Correctional Services of South Africa for a short period in 2003.

    Sabrina Parkins

    Unlocked Ambassador

    Sabrina was part of the first cohort of Unlocked Graduates working at HMP Wandsworth. Following her two years on the Unlocked programme, Sabrina got a place on the HMPPS Accelerated Development Scheme and now works as Head of Function at Wormwood Scrubs. A highlight of Sabrina’s time as an Unlocked Graduate was delivering an amazing speech at Downing Street at the end of her two years on the programme.

  • Lunchtime / marketplace

    Lunch and Marketplace


    During lunch we will host a Marketplace – essentially a chance for charities that work to support rehabilitation to connect directly with delegates and prison officers about their work.

    Participants will be given the chance to have an informal chat and network with partners at the conference.

    Take a moment to visit our Partners page and view the dedicated charities that will join us on the day.

  • Panel: Voices of lived experience

    The power of the prison officer


    Room: The Studio

    This session will bring together voices of those with lived experience of the prison system to discuss the impact that a prison officer can have on individuals in prison. The panel will explore the human relationships that are built between prisoners and staff, the importance of consistency in relationships in prison and how prison officers can ensure that boundaries are maintained. The session will be chaired by Paula Harriot who is Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust.


    Paula Harriott

    Head of Prisoner Engagement

    Paula was previously Head of Involvement at Revolving Doors Agency 2015-2017, where she provided consultancy to two Big Lottery programmes on service user involvement, as well as supporting the active involvement of the Lived Experience Team in the national Liaison and Diversion service. As Head of Programmes at User Voice 2010-2015 she led on the development of service user involvement in prison and probation, as well as forensic mental health services. She is a steering group member of Agenda, the coalition that seeks to support women and girls at risk and is a passionate advocate for highlighting the inequalities that affect vulnerable people in the criminal justice system and a trustee of the Community Chaplaincy Association.

    Her passion for working with excluded members of the community stems from personal experiences as a prisoner 2004-2012. Her personal experiences and associated research – The experience of being a female prisoner Listener, a qualitative study submitted as part of a post graduate diploma in integrative psychotherapy, and The Health Needs of Women Offenders in Resettlement, commissioned by HOB PCT – sharpened her commitment to raising awareness of the issues faced by prisoners and to campaign and proactively deliver services which support both prisoners and ex-offenders to progress personally and strategically past the stigma of imprisonment and multiple exclusion.

  • Conference Streams



    This portion of the conference will run for participants and ambassadors only. Only one session can be attended and we will ask you to choose one of the four streams below closer to the date of the Conference.

    Stream 1: The relationship between security and rehabilitation (Dr. Jamie Bennett)

    Room: Suite 1

    Security and rehabilitation are often seen to be in tension. This session will explore the strategy to develop a more integrated approach. The session will examine the theory, practices and leadership approaches that can shape security as the foundation for rehabilitation.

    Stream 2: Youth Violence (Craig Pinkney)  

    Room: Suite 2

    As an expert in youth violence and gang culture, Craig will run a session focused on understanding where crime comes from, with a particular focus on young people. He will share his experience and work which looks to critically address the causes of violence and conflict through both an academic and a highly practical lens. The session’s aim is to enable participants to understand and think beyond issues relating to street gangs, youth violence and criminal exploitation.

    Stream 3: Long-term sentence research (Ben Crewe) 

    Room: The Studio

    This session involves a discussion with Ben Crewe about his research (conducted with Dr Susie Hulley and Dr Serena Wright) on men and women serving very long life sentences from an early age. The study involved interviews with almost 150 such individuals, plus a broader sample of survey data, with the aim of exploring three key questions: what are the main problems experienced by life-sentenced prisoners, and how do they cope with these difficulties? How do they build a life over many years of imprisonment? And how do they feel about the legitimacy of their circumstances? The discussion will seek to summarise the findings and reflect on the implications for prison staff.

    Stream 4:  Ambassador Panel – What comes next?  

    Room: Suite 3

    This panel will see previous Unlocked participants Lili Bidwell, Chris Mosely Ferro, Reanne Cockburn and Sam Clarke Warry come together to talk about their experiences on the scheme and what they’ve accomplished since finishing the programme. The panel will be chaired by Unlocked Ambassador, Saida Adio Pereira.


    Jamie Bennett

    Deputy Director for Security,Order and Counter Terrorism in HM Prison & Probation Service

    Dr. Jamie Bennett is currently a Deputy Director for Security, Order and Counter Terrorism in HM Prison & Probation Service. He was previously Governor of four prisons including HMP Long Lartin, a high security prison, and HMP Grendon, the only prison to operate entirely as a series of therapeutic communities. Jamie is also a research Associate at University of Oxford and has published widely on criminal justice issues. His books include The Working Lives of Prison Managers (2015), The Penal System: An Introduction Sixth Edition (2019) and Prisoners on Prison Films (2021).

    Craig Pinkney

    Criminologist, Urban Youth Specialist, and Chief Executive of SOLVE: The Centre for Youth Violence and Conflict.

    Craig has over 18 years of experience as an outreach worker, transformational speaker, international gang exit strategist, training facilitator, mediator, mentor and filmmaker. Craig Pinkney is nationally and internationally known for working with some of the country’s most challenging young people, potentially high-risk offenders, victims of gang violence and youth who are deemed most hard to reach.

    Ben Crewe

    Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre

    Ben Crewe is Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre, and Professor of Penology & Criminal Justice, at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. His recent research projects include a five-year study comparing penal policymaking and prisoner experiences in England & Wales and Norway, and a major study of prisoners serving very long sentences from an early age (with Susie Hulley and Serena Wright). He is one of the founding editors of the journal Incarceration and is a Trustee of the Prison Reform Trust.

    Lili Bidwell

    Band 4 Prison Officer

    Lili joined Unlocked in 2019 and worked as a prison officer and supervising officer in HMP Wandsworth. Since completing Unlocked she has remained at HMP Wandsworth, now the Accelerator Employment Advisor, responsible for supporting prisoners into employment upon release. Lili is passionate about reducing reoffending: whilst on the Unlocked program she co-wrote a policy paper on the logistics of release from prisons and her master’s dissertation investigated the use of language in prisons, it’s impact on an individual’s identity and subsequent likelihood to reoffend.

    Reanne Cockburn

    Service Manager at Change Grow Live

    Reanne is currently working as the Service  Manager of a psychosocial drug and alcohol recovery service, Change Grow Live, located inside HMP Belmarsh. Reanne’s experience as a prison officer for 2 years at HMP Brixton, and time as an Unlocked Graduate developed her leadership and interpersonal skills which have been integral to her successes in proceeding managerial positions.

    Christopher Mosely-Ferro

    Curriculum & Learning Progression Lead

    Christopher’s background comprises over a decade’s experience teaching Functional Skills and ESOL in the Further Education sector in colleges and prisons, alongside postgraduate academic research into prison education policy and practice. In addition to this, inspired by his academic research and experience of custodial environments, in 2018 he left teaching to complete the Unlocked Graduates Leadership Development Programme, where, as well as completing a bespoke MSc in Leadership & Custodial Environments, he was placed on the frontline to work as a prison officer to support and promote rehabilitative opportunities for prisoners, with the overarching aim to stop the cycle of reoffending and improve outcomes for the most vulnerable in society. In his current role, he has sought to capitalise on the knowledge, skills and experience he gained from both the education and justice sectors, and to apply the leadership, project management and communication skills he honed during his frontline master’s degree.

    Sam Clarke Warry

    Custodial Manager (Band 5)

    Sam is currently a Custodial Manager working at HMP Brixton on their Induction Unit. Before that, he worked at HMP Wandsworth for 3 years, mostly as a Supervising Officer on the Vulnerable Persons Unit and as Custodial Manager on the full-time worker’s wing. Sam’s second-year policy paper looked at prisoner employment opportunities, specifically wage policy and saving initiatives, which he was able to tie into his placement at the New Futures Network.

    Saida Adio-Pereira

    Switchback Mentor

    Saidatu Odutayo is a 27-year-old, born and raised in South-East London. It was there she grew a strong fervour for improving the criminal justice system, seeing first-hand how gun and knife crime had impacted the lives of friends around her. She joined the prison service in 2017 through the Unlocked Graduate scheme, on completion of the scheme, she remained in the service where she became a Supervising Officer and shortly after a custodial manager at HMP Wandsworth. Leaving the service in September 2021, she has gone on to work with Switchback, a charity that enables young men to find a way out of the criminal justice system and build a stable rewarding life. She’ll be returning to the service in the coming months where she’ll take on the role of Supervising officer at HMP Brixton.

  • Innovation/Ventures workshop



    Ambassadors: Shaping Your Network (for Ambassadors and 2020 Participants) 

    Room: Suites 2 and 3 combined

    We know that our ambassadors have the opportunity and ability to make a huge contribution to our mission. This session will give you the chance to inform, influence and own how we invest in the development of your network, the groups that will form within it, and the activities you will be offered through it.

    Ventures: Where We Begin (for 2021 Participants) 

    Room: The Studio

    At Unlocked Graduates, we have recently established a new directorate focused on innovative Ventures. In this session, you will learn more about this work and how you can be a part of it. We’ll be looking to harness your unique perspectives as frontline officers – come prepared to share!