It has long been understood that prisoners who maintain good relationships with their family members while in prison are likely to have lower recidivism rates (For example, see Farmer, M. 2017 )
In Autumn 2020, Rideout facilitated a series of day-long drama workshops at HMP Hewell with a small group of prisoners looking at strategies for maintaining family ties. This was done through the creation of stories about three characters, each at different stages of their sentence, and each with different kinds of family relationship. Covering a period of 28 days during the second Covid national lockdown, their stories are told through a mix of letters, journal entries, and short phone call vignettes, interspersed with advice on how someone might go about dealing with the problems the characters face. The stories are now available in two formats; a booklet and a website. The booklet, designed to be read by those in prison, is currently being given to all new prisoners at Hewell as part of the prison’s induction process. The website, currently under construction, will be accessible to all who are outside prison.