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Prison Fellowship

Transform Lives in Prison

Sycamore Tree

 
Prison Fellowship (PF) is a Christian charity with the aim of transforming lives devastated by crime.


Since 1979, PF has aimed to help prisoners become effectively rehabilitated while in prison. Through a strong team of over 2,500 dedicated and trained volunteers, we aim to model a different kind of relationship than prisoners are used to, a Christ-like relationship, by coming alongside them and supporting them.

Sycamore Tree is our six-week victim awareness programme that teaches the principles of restorative justice.

The aim is to help prisoners understand the impact of their crimes, to acknowledge that they have created victims, that they need to try and make amends, and create a desire to change and build a crime-free life. Sycamore Tree helps offenders think about behaviour and try to form new ways of thinking to turn their lives away from crime.

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We will be running Sycamore Tree in 50 prisons in 2018.

Each course will offer the opportunity for up to 20 offenders to explore restorative justice, attitudes to crime, the ripple effect of crime, making excuses, empathy, forgiveness, restoring relationships, taking responsibility for their own crime, making amends and taking practical steps to change.

The programme will help offenders engage better with the prison regime, improve their behaviour and attitudes, increase empathy and an understanding of the impact of their crimes. Each course will help participants to feel valued, to build skills relevant to life after prison, to help them feel less marginalised and more connected to society and the community. They will also be able to gain an accredited qualification. The ultimate aim is to help reform lives and reduce re-offending rates on release from prison. The wider benefits include stable family life, safer local communities, reduction in crime, support to victims and reduced fear.

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Progress ...

We have an incredible team of volunteers in place to run the Sycamore Tree courses. They are trained and ready to start the next courses. We have a schedule identifying each course that will be held in each of the prisons running the programme. Through prison chaplains, Offender Management, Probation and Education departments within prison we have a list of those wishing to participate in the courses and from those selected we will be obtaining the necessary learner acceptance forms. We are then just waiting for the start date! Each course is scheduled to fit in with the chaplaincy and the local volunteer team.


 

Needs ...

We need 20 offenders to sign up and commit to the six-week programme in each prison with a course scheduled in July and beyond.

Our biggest need is prayer; for our volunteer team running the next courses, for the offenders who will participate that they would fully engage with the programme and that their lives would be reformed and transformed, and for the victims of crime who will assist on the programme. We also need prayer for stability in prison to enable Sycamore Tree to go ahead without disruption.


Hope ...
 
We want to see every offender participating in Sycamore Tree changed and reformed with a desire and plan to move on into a crime free life on release from prison. We want to achieve a minimum retention rate of 85% with at least 85% of learners engaging in the course through to completion. We would like to see every retained learner passing Sycamore Tree and achieving either a level 1 or level 2 qualification. We want to see positive role models on the prison wings following completion of Sycamore Tree leading to learners becoming peer mentors, gaining a further qualification and supporting and encouraging future learners.
We hope that through Sycamore Tree, victims will be restored, offenders will be rehabilitated, family relationships will be strengthened and maintained, and communities will be positively impacted.
 

If you'd like more information we'd love to hear from you.

www.prisonfellowship.org.uk