Prisoner Self-Help

tools for healing, changing, growing


Oil Painting - Free at Last 15 March 2019

Prisoner Self-Help website is intended as a resource for current and ex-prisoners, their families and friends, prison staff and volunteers, anyone involved with the criminal justice system and anyone who is interested in the issues of prisoner mental health, wellbeing and rehabilitation.

You are welcome to submit articles for this website, especially with the focus on practical self-help tools, but any of the topics which may be of relevance to prisoners and people working with or caring for prisoners are welcome, such as:

  • On life/work in prison
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Top Tips for survival in prison
  • Success stories
  • Inspirations
  • Creativity
  • Humour
  • Addictions
  • Self-harm
  • Work issues
  • Money issues
  • Education issues
  • News and current affairs items
  • Reviews of relevant books and films
We welcome other ideas and suggestions for articles and resources to include on this website.
We are aware that prisoners do not usually have access to the internet whilst in custody, so if you find an article on this site which may be of interest to a prisoner, please feel free to print it out and share.
Please submit your articles and any illustrations to Your article can be published under your full name, anonymously, or under a pseudonym – please indicate your choice clearly at the top of the article. If you would like a link to your website included and/or a short bio, please include that too. If writing about individuals please take appropriate steps to preserve confidentiality, according to General Data Protection Regulations, and the laws of your country. We reserve the right to refuse any article, and shorten or edit articles as appropriate, but will endeavour to discuss any revisions with you whenever possible.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Miss Spent Youth on said:

    Hi, I like the idea of your website. My partner has worked in the prison service for 25 years and is very much interested in prisoner welfare. My son has just recently joined the prison force. He is working in a newly refurbished complex which has just had it’s first intake of people. I went to the family open day to see the place. Clean, decent facilities and computers, but there was no getting away from the fact it was to imprison people. At the introduction by “The Gov” he took great pride informing us that Scotland has more prisoners per head in all of Europe. I felt revulsion on hearing this and the way it was said. A great deal of the people finding themselves incarcerated are generally uneducated, have mental health problems, learning difficulties and have issues with alcohol and substance mis-use. I have been in recovery myself now for 2 years. Through the fellowships of A.A, C.A and N.A, I have heard hundreds of stories of those in recovery, who were constantly detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, while in the throws of addiction. Since getting into recovery they have not had the misfortune to be detained again. I will be telling my partner and son about your website and will encourage both to contribute also.
    Best wishes

  2. Hi Donna,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, yes it is ironic that people who are most vulnerable and marginalised are also most likely to be incarcerated. Nevertheless for some people prison may be the first place to begin their recovery journey, and I believe that anything that helps raise awareness of what tools, approaches, programmes and support are available both inside and outside must be a useful thing, this is one of the reasons I have set up this website!

    Many thanks,

  3. Miss Spent Youth on said:

    Hi Masha,
    I totally agree with you. For some, it is the start of the recovery process, and I know of a few men who have been able to stay alcohol and drug free on the outside. These people have went on to build a life for themselves and help others to do so to. I also have heard many stories of people(mostly men) who use prison as a means to come off their damage. When they fear they are near death, destitution or in danger because of debt, they will commit a crime which they know will hold a prison sentence for them. I know of mothers and partners who prefer their loved ones to be inside. They know they are relatively safe and can achieve some abstinence, which hopefully will propel them into seeking help once freed. Fascinating stuff when the lid is lifted and one can see the underlying psychologies taking place. It would appear that crime, for many, is a means to an end and not one of financial gain or, violence for violence sake, as the media would have us believes.

    Best wishes
    Donna 🙂

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