Governors Report 1990







            Her Majestys Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and to help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.`

            In 1887 Mr Robert Johnson founded the Colonial College, a residential training establishment which attempted to teach young gentlemen the skills they would need to live and work in the Colonies of the British Empire.  A hundred years later we try to prepare a different generation for an equally uncertain future in less romantic places, such as the east end of London !  As a Penal Reformer in his time Mr Johnson would have approved. We have to educate our inmate for a very different world and need to consider in what frame of mind they are to leave us. Can we bring about in them a wish to live a good and useful life?  If we cant, then all we offer is a period of consolidation to the young criminal and a brief respite to the community to which he will return.

            In the open units all inmates are in full-time employment or on a full-time course that leads to City and Guilds qualifications in a range of building and construction skills.  Our 1,700 acre Estate and Packing Sheds produce milk, meat and processed vegetables for consumption both here and in other Prison Service establishments.  Our closed units, Warren Hill offer full-time technical and academic courses.  Inmates who come to these units are regularly reviewed as to their suitability for open conditions which then forms a stepping stone towards freedom.

            We are blessed with excellent facilities.  Our Education and Physical Education Departments offer a wide range of opportunities.  By law we are required to involve all inmates in Physical Education though we give them choice and many opt to do much more than the statutory minimum.  Our Colony football team usually seems to get to the top of the league, weight-training is always popular, enabling many to achieve a better self-image.  Canoeing and other outdoor activities offer a lawful outlet for a young mans energies.  Our squash classes have proved popular and many students are now active squash players on the out.

            A statement of personal belief: we need to bring about fundamental change in the attitude and way of life of our charges, most of whom have lacked sense of direction and any sense of personal responsibility.  We need to inculcate a willingness and a will to earn a living by lawful means and to teach them or lead them towards the necessary skills.  We need to encourage positive use of leisure; believe it or not it has probably in fact never seriously occurred to many of our youngsters that the local sports centre, or football team, etc, could take the place of joyriding, vandalism or mindless violence.  We need to foster positive links with family, friends, parents, Probation Officers, etc, in the community to which they return.  We need to ensure that every inmate can at least read and write by the time he leaves us.  You may say But what about punishment, bang em up and give em nothing! That is precisely what the average incarcerated young offender would have us do with him when inside, if he had the choice.  It would fit him only for crime and for Prison or for some other form of institution for those who cannot, or will not, cope.

            Hollesley Bay Colony is an established part of the local community and the major local employer. We have many projects that enable our inmates on an ongoing basis to work in the community with, and for, handicapped persons and others less privileged than themselves. By the same token we make our facilities available to local people.


                                                                                                GRAHAM PARKER, Governor V

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