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.
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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