For well over a year we have been giving books to prison libraries and education departments. About one year ago we also began giving books to custody suites, and this year we have begun sending books direct to people in prison. In all cases the books have met with very positive reactions. - the letters we receive from prisoners and some of the librarians prove that books, and some contact with the outside make a gigantic difference to the way people feel.
On Sunday November 19 we are again holding an open day - but this time, instead of sitting back and enjoying poetry and music, we will host a discussion with the themes ARE PRISONERS OUR RESPONSIBILITY? WHAT CAN WE DO TO FACILITATE THE REHABILITATION REVOLUTION AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF IMPRISONMENT? - From our point of view, obviously we feel that prisoners are our responsibility and we enjoy doing our best to send people the books they request. As for rehabilitation, again, that's right up our street as we would love to see prison leavers running Borderline Books branches around the country. The discussion will be led by former prison governor Mike Kirby. Also on the panel will be Jason Meecham from Durham Constabulary, who has been helping spread the word to custody suites around the north; Helen Attewell, CEO of NEPACS who run visitors centres at prisons in the North East, Natalie Maidment of CLINKS; Richard W Hardwick, author and teacher of creative writing in prisons, and representatives from Open Gate and Probation.
We hope that learning more about the trajectory from police cells, through prison and out the other side, with all the repercussions for family life will encourage people to donate generously to help us with the costs of keeping books flowing into prisons.
To encourage the spirit of giving, we will then hold an art auction with some fabulous art pieces donated by Sophie Howard, Padma Rao, Lesley Ellen Cooperwaite, Anne Curtis, Kathryn Barnett, Mike Collier, Craig Puranen Wilson, Barrie West, Kathy Geater, Coralie Morton, Tessa Green, Dreana Bulmer-Thompson, Rob Winter and more. Our Patrons, David Crystal and Michael Rosen have donated books and the whole auction will be brought to life by the delightful actor, comedian and co-presenter of BBC Newcastle's Alfie and Anna at Breakfast, Alfie Joey.
Richard W Hardwick is the author of the Truth about Prison - (Richard's Book on Amazon)
Sunday 19 November 12:00 - 18:00
5th Avenue Plaza, Queensway North,
Gateshead NE11 0BL