Vulnerable Women in the Prison System
Alma Hageman, RECOOP Project Manager at HMP Eastwood Park, recently gave an inspirational public talk at an event organised by Positive Justice Gloucestershire entitled “Vulnerable Women in the Prison System”.
Speaking about the mental health issues, addictions, homelessness, abuse, bereavement and self-harming, Alma praised HMP Eastwood Park for the way in which it tries to help the women within a pressured and struggling prison and Criminal Justice system. Alma shared some of the women’s poems and reflections to emphasise how they felt and the direct impact incarceration has on their lives.
The Rubies, an over 50’s Day Centre run by RECOOP at HMP Eastwood Park, had worked on collages which were displayed, along with a quilt they had previously made and which had won a platinum Koestler Award. Alma also talked about the projects she and the Rubies were involved with: a repair service for other women in the prison, their involvement in knitting clothes and toys for refugee children stranded on a Greek Island and how the peer group has become a circle of mutual help, promoting positive wellbeing.
Chair of PJG and one of the organisers of the event, said:
"Many congratulations Alma on a most inspirational talk. You were wonderful. I thought you did a great job of analysing why the system is so dysfunctional and broken. The way your talk was structured was excellent. The juxtaposition of the poems used to illustrate what you were saying was very powerful and it was great to hear the women's voices threaded through your talk. They were truly the subjects of the event. It was great to finish with all the positive work that comes out of The Rubies group."
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