Unlocked Conference 2022: Driving system change

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Unlocked Conference 2022: Driving system change

This year, for Unlocked Graduates’ first in person conference in two years, we offered Unlocked participants and Ambassadors the opportunity to hear from a range of leaders and organisations from within prisons and across the prison service. There was 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 were 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.

We were delighted to be joined by Peter Dawson, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, who was our keynote speaker. He opened up the Conference alongside Unlocked CEO Natasha Porter, Unlocked Ambassador Sabrina Parkins and current participant Andy Huxtable.

Following the opening session, we hosted a Marketplace that provided a chance for 13 charities that work to support rehabilitation to connect directly with delegates and prison officers about their work.

The next session, chaired by Paula Harriott, Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust, brought 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 explored 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 final portion of the conference launched four separate streams: 

The relationship between security and rehabilitation with Dr Jamie Bennett. This session examined the theory, practices and leadership approaches that can shape security as the foundation for rehabilitation.

Youth Violence with Craig Pinkney. This session aimed to enable participants to understand and think beyond issues relating to street gangs, youth violence and criminal exploitation.

Long-term sentence research with Dr Ben Crewe. This session involved 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.

What comes next? This panel saw previous Unlocked participants Lili Bidwell, Chris Mosely Ferro, Reanne Cockburn, Sam Clarke Warry and Saida Adio Pereira come together to talk about their experiences on the programme and what they’ve accomplished since finishing the scheme.

A big thank you to everyone who attended for making the day so special! We look forward to reconnecting, sharing ideas and learning from one another again at next year’s Conference.