Today was a tough visit. Knowing full well that mentoring is likely to be better over the long term, my third visit is the last. Nothing ever goes to plan in either the secure estate or third sector (or life?). I reluctantly decided that some intervention was probably better than none. There’s actually plenty of evidence to contradict this!
So Sam gets released mid February. He has worked so hard to put things in place prior to release and done as much as any man in his position could.
He’s neither naive about the challenges nor lacking in his ability to take responsibility for his actions. All this resilience, self-awareness and the best will in the world are not got going to make the transition after half his life in custody, much easier.
Those of us in this sector know that support will be minimal, opportunities lacking and prejudice in abundance.
He was complimentary of the mentoring experience and said he was surprised at the value of just ‘chatting stuff through, whilst having a bit of a laugh’. I told him of the value to me too, as our conversations were often philosophical and insightful about a criminal justice system over nearly three decades.
We’re staying in touch by phone, I’m going to signpost him to some social support and I hope our support can perhaps move to Skype or FaceTime.