On Friday 17th March we were delighted to host the annual Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture and Symposium, with guest speaker and foremost international expert on relationship education, Dr Galena Rhoades.

We were also pleased to welcome Oonagh Ryder, Policy Officer at CLINKS, Simon Pellew OBE CEO of the Society of Analytical Psychology and The Rt Rev Bishop Richard Moth, Liaison Bishop for Prisons.

During the lecture, which was held at the London Southbank University, the panel agreed that relationship education is a key ingredient to successful prison safety and reform. 

Simon Pellew OBE said:

Prison destroys relationships and yet we know that relationships are the key to desistance.

In his speech, Bishop Moth talked about the recent publication of The Right Road: A Catholic approach to prison reform, and shared his thoughts with the audience on how families and relationships can support rehabilitation and reduce re offending. He said:

We need to find a way for people to pay their debt to society without losing their place in society

Guests were also able to get a glimpse into the Lord Farmer Review, a piece of work that Pact has been greatly involved with, acting as an advisor to Lord Farmer on issues relating to family contact and reducing re offending, violence, self harm and suicide in prison. CLINKS Policy Officer, Oonagh Ryder gave an overview of the report. She said:

On the whole we see that families are really strong assets to the desistance process - family connections are one of the main things that give people in prison hope. One consistent, positive relationship with someone outside of the prison is one of the main factors in desistance.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of guest speakers and everyone who attended, but most of all we would like to thank the Sir Harold Hood Charitable Trust for supporting our work and this event once again. Their support enables us to continue our vital work and to raise awareness of the issues affecting prisoners, people with convictions and their families.

To see more photos from the day, please visit our Facebook page. To find out more about our groupwork please click here

To download Galena Rhoades' presentation please click here.

To download Oonagh Ryder's presentation please click here.

To download The Right Road please click here