Me, Women, & Prisons

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you may have noticed that I’ve been quite doing a bit of reflection lately (here, for example). It’s always good to take a bit of time out now and again to think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it!

One of the issues I wanted to pay attention to was that part of what I do which is not about actually earning an income.Obviously I couldn’t stop doing that, nor did I want to – I genuinely love what I do, but I really wanted to take some time to pay attention to the other bit of my working life.

Women and Prisons

In a previous role I’ve worked with offenders and in prisons. At that time, being employed in a bureaucratic government organisation I was restricted in what I could do, although we did pioneer some very successful group working! Recently I found myself wondering if the techniques and methods I use now (and know work with women to help them make really meaningful life changes), would have helped those women to take more control of their lives. I was idly wondering how I might make this a reality this when out of the blue my old manager from the probation service got in touch with me again. He is still doing some work in a women’s prison. I blathered on about my ideas, he was encouraging and enthusiastic… and together we have put together a plan! Early signs are hopeful, and we have submitted an outline for consideration. The wheels grind slow…but I am optimistic!

Women and Charity

My second aspiration was to make a contribution somehow to women’s issues the world over.  (I know, a bit grandiose of me but…you’ve got to have a go.) I’ve been researching for a while, looking for an appropriate charity to promote through these web pages and have been speaking with Womankind (if you click on the link you’ll hear Sandi Toksvig telling you all about it). There will be more about them in a post on International Women’s Day, March 8th. As my charity of choice I will be giving 10% of all proceeds from this site (advertising, book sales etc) to the charity. (And if you ever feel like giving a bob or two I hope you’ll think of them and click the link in the blog roll!)

The Day Job

However, I am still doing the day job! I’m still coaching and delivering courses like my  Women Ahead to encourage women to break the  glass ceiling and work towards equity in the workplace! But taking that  a wee break has been wonderful, and it’s possibly been one of my most creative periods to date. While I was turning my focus outwards the creative juices have flowed like billyho and I have all sorts of plans forming. I have made room to do more of what I want to do and have revitalised myself. It’s been wonderful!

So, when you can, step away from your own day to day stuff from time to time, do a little checks and balances exercise on yourself. Plan it in your diary, or take advantage of unexpected down time. How ever your life is at the moment (and life is always troughs and peaks, isn’t it?) it will help you if you can pause for a while, take some (mental) time out, and see where it leads you. Sometimes you need to make space for good things to happen. You may get a surprise…

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by

3 Responses to “Me, Women, & Prisons”

  1. Mrs D says:

    Having been involved my self with a charity which helps find work for women in prison I do find that around 80% of the women in prison shouldn’t be and it’s just a way of shutting them out of sight and then we never deal with their problems and also when they come out they are back in even worse situation than before so hence the re-offending rate – the person the government could learn from is John Timpson (of the shoe business) he employs ex offenders and has a magnificent success rate

    • Jane says:

      Yes, there is very little support post sentence. Such a waste. There are lots of really good employers out there but they usually don’t want to advertise the fact. Thanks for your comment, Mrs D!

  2. Mrs D says:

    what shocked me on a visit to Holloway with my daughter there was a woman with 4 children single parent (I was a single parent) who was in for non payment of TV licence – her children in care & she lost her council house & would still have no way of paying the out standing fine when she left prison – can anyone explain how this solved the problem and what additional cost it burdened the taxpayer and would she find a job to make this right – no she now had a criminal record ..
    I can’t explain how angry I was

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