We believe that wellbeing support for young men in prison — particularly for young Black men — should be prioritised and should be tailored to meet their specific needs.
Why is this important?
Young people in prison have untapped potential, but have different needs to older people in prison, and are less likely to be able to access the support they need to flourish and build new lives. In addition, psychological maturity is essential for young people’s success in and after prison.
Therefore, we know that young people in prison have distinct needs that must be met to enable effective rehabilitation.
Furthermore, we know that young Black men, who are over-represented in the prison system, face further barriers to their rehabilitation.
This is due to their experiences of social and economic inequalities, institutional racism, and a lack of services that take into account different cultures and Black identity. Black men in prison suffer from worse outcomes and experiences than white prisoners.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges facing young people in prison, but with proper support from specialists working in prisons, young people make positive choices that lead to better rehabilitative outcomes and improved wellbeing, including better physical, mental and social health.
The call to action
The Being Well Being Equal campaign is calling for urgent action from the Government, prison policy-makers and practitioners to:
Prioritise wellbeing services in prisons for young men and young Black men;
Tailor wellbeing services to take into account and meet the specific needs of young men in prison and young Black men in prison;
Provide better support and guidance for professionals in prison working with and caring for young men and young Black men.
Click here to download our briefing sheet nowand come back to see our campaign news!
Six voluntary sector organisations providing rehabilitation services and supporting racial equity & wellbeing in prisons have come together to form a coalition, to drive the Being Well Being Equal campaign. The founding members of the Being Well Being Equal alliance have agreed to pool information, identify best practice, and campaign together for tailored wellbeing services in prisons. Meet the members here.
We are delighted to share with you our Being Well Being Equal Report, focusing on the wellbeing of young men in custody aged 18 to 25 and in particular, highlighting the experiences of young Black men, who are significantly overrepresented in the prison system. It presents a consolidation of the research, policy and practice concerned with the wellbeing of young men in custody, as well as insight from expert organisations and, most importantly, young men themselves.
We hope that by bringing together the evidence, this report will enable practitioners, policy makers and commissioners to have a more informed understanding of how to promote Being Well and Being Equal amongst young men in custody.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the young men who took the time to share their insight, experiences and thoughts with us for this report – it is their vision for a brighter future that we have sought to represent.
Thank you to the Being Well Being Equal Alliance members and our friends and colleagues working tirelessly in the voluntary sector for sharing their views and providing valuable support.
Finally, we would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this report and helping us to raise awareness and call for action on the important issues raised throughout.
In Conversation with Noël and Donell: Watch our new short film exploring mental health and wellbeing support for young Black men in prison
Filmed as part of our Being Well Being Equal campaign, Noël and Donell explore the topic of mental health and wellbeing for young Black men in prison, and Donell’s own personal experience during his time in custody.
Watch the video below!
Supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust as part of its Transition to Adulthood (T2A) initiative. The Trust is an independent charitable foundation committed to bringing about socially just change. T2A conducts research and practice to identify effective approaches for young adults throughout the criminal justice system. Charity number: 1115476