On November 4th and November 9th 2021 the Community Diversity and Inclusion lead (Keiran Manners) delivered a comprehensive half day training package to Custodial Managers and a prisoner group at HMP The Mount.
Keiran Manners has worked for ISCRE for 11 years as a registered social worker, independent consultant and Community Centred Desistance Practitioner delivering Culturally Informed Interventions in prisons and the community.
Keiran Manners is a contemporary innovator of radical social work, and has shared his knowledge, experience and skills with various advisory groups assembled to inform government policy and practice. This has included and formed part of the Young Review advisory group, those leading the delivery of the Lammy recommendations, the Youth Justice Board: Serious Youth and Gang Violence Committee and other regional and national expert symposiums.
Keiran continues to work alongside ex-offenders, practitioners and academics that advocate for and are motivated by improving the outcomes experienced by BAME communities, trauma exposed young people and other disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
Keiran delivers training for prison officers as well as self-change programmes for prisoners which critically explore barriers related to identity and personal aspirations. Keiran’s consistent presence in prisons as an independent practitioner and advocate, helps to facilitate prisoners’ sense of safety, continuity and track individual progression towards community re-entry.
Community Centred Desistance – This approach introduces new ways of understanding offending through a critical community lens, enabling offenders and those working with them to better understand the needs of the individuals, groups and the communities they re-enter. This challenges paradigms of culturally aware practice, discrimination, inequality, opportunity and disproportionality, all of which are explored through a lens of ‘negative intersectionality’. (Manners, 2021)
Negative Intersectionality – Where multiple disadvantages meet to compound negative outcomes (Manners, 2021).
This area of delivery applies a community informed approach to developing and supporting individuals and communities that are disadvantaged, marginalised, hard to reach and impacted by crime, to become ‘desistance ready’ (ready for change) through empowerment focused initiatives (Manners, 2021):
- Creating transformative spaces to explore narratives: Safe spaces to discuss, explore, debate and develop critical understanding of the entry points and exit strategies of offending through narrative deconstruction.
- Empowering community stakeholders: Repositioning communities and community focused organisations in informing intervention work and supporting the reintegration and progression of ex-offenders.
- Culturally informed planning: Developing individualised initiatives that look critically at the community characteristics that are statistically linked to poorer outcomes i.e. homelessness, ‘racial bias and systematic racism’ (ethnicity), class, wellbeing issues, education and community instability.
- Critical thinking skills: Raising awareness around consequential thinking, informed decision making, harm reduction, community and self accountability, and responsibility.
- Re-establishing positive identities: Supporting disenfranchised individuals to transcend negative personal experiences, trauma, and barriers within society which demoralise, demotivate and devalue. (where appropriate spirituality/religion)
- Overcoming Self Limiting Attitudes and Behaviours: Redefining knowledge and beliefs about ‘self’ whilst supporting increased aspiration, motivation, and attainment in the wider community towards education, training and employment.
The half day training was broken down to cover the following subjects:
- Understanding the role of community informed rehabilitation within prison environments
- Introduction to the Equality Act 2010 including:
- Defining discrimination
- Contextualizing the management of protected characteristics within prison
- Introduction to PSI 32/2011
- The role and responsibility of frontline staff in promoting D&I
- Improving understanding of the processes used within prison to ensure D&I is at the core of practice delivery
- Exploring the links between perceptions/experiences of inequality and negative behavior within prison
- Introduction to Hate Crime including:
- Defining Hate Crime
- How Hate Crime and D&I are linked
- The barriers to reporting Hate Crime
- Legacy of Steven Lawrence’s murder and how this has influenced prison policy
- The failing of Zahid Mubarek in custody and the influences on prison practice today
- Importance of safeguarding vulnerable people