28 April 2021
In this webinar we’re learning about how coaching supports people living and working in prison.
The futures of people affected by the criminal justice system are determined by their potential, not their past.
In conversation with Spark Inside’s Head of Programmes, Dr Karen Graham, and one of Spark Inside’s life coaches, Dorottya Szuk, we’re exploring: how coaching works; how individuals develop through coaching; and how coaching supports personal and institutional development.
Spark Inside uses coaching techniques to transform lives in prisons across London and the South East. With a focus on supporting young people, during lockdown Spark Inside expanded its programmes to work with prison staff, too.
Coaching – like Spark Inside – enhances relationships, improves understanding, and promotes cultural change on prison wings.
With over 20 years of experience working in prison education as an educator, researcher and university academic, Karen began questioning the divide between ‘legitimate’ learners and ‘illegitimate’ learners. She was drawn to Spark Inside by its unique approach to working with those in prison, which values the qualities and strengths of individuals in the circumstances of the criminal justice system.
Rather than assuming that people who live in prison need somebody else to better their lives, coaching doesn’t make the assumption that other people know better.
A qualified therapist and life coach, Dora has worked in the mental health sector for over a decade, the majority of which has been within the criminal justice system. With expertise in criminology and forensic mental health, she sees the Spark Inside emphasis on one-to-one coaching as a key strength of the organisation.
We are solution-focused. We ask: Where is this person now? Where would they like to be? What is that gap in between?
During COVID-19, Spark Inside has introduced a new element to its work by extending its offer of coaching to prison staff, in addition to people in prison. This has been beneficial to those living and working in prison in multiple ways, improving relationships and culture on prison wings.
Discover more about the transformative work of Spark Inside at www.sparkinside.org.
© Prisoner Learning Alliance 2023