Voices of the Prison Community
Since 2011 Mass Observation has been developing links with prison librarians nationally as part of our 12th May day diary project. This has resulted in a valuable collection of diaries from both men and women, in varying institutions from youth offending and open prisons to Category B security.
The diary collection acted as a springboard for further activities. In 2013 we were involved in creative writing workshops at Lewes Prison, using Mass Observation Archive material as inspiration. A subsequent University of Sussex pilot research project was undertaken in 2014 and then in Spring 2015 a writing residency was completed in partnership with Mass Observation and The National Archives, culminating in the launch of Unlocked Reflections, an anthology of writings for the wider prison community.
“If you had to ask what people got out of this, you know, I would have to say, this is about confidence”
“I found the ability to write for experienced, sympathetic listeners to comment really eye opening”
“Helps to reflect on how we feel and how we can move on“
Read more: Voices of the Prison Community