The Induction Process

The nature of the induction process varies for prison to prison but all of them will cover the same ground. You will attend lectures and presentations about the prison rules and guidelines, what jobs or education opportunities exist, and details about visiting rules. The better induction processes will tell you about how to change your prison kit, get clothes brought in, how to book visits, how to get money sent in, canteen timetables, gym timetables, library etc but the quality varies greatly. If you are on an induction group where you are the only “new” prisoner and the rest of the group have already had a previous prison sentence the officer giving the presentation will gloss over most of it as the “audience” won’t be paying attention anyway. If you don’t understand or want to know something ask the officer.

As part of your induction you will meet with the chaplaincy, the drug team, the medical team, education, probation and gym.

Chaplaincy deal with your religious and spiritual wellbeing. There will be people to help every faith and can be a source of support to a great number of prisoners. They will be able to tell you the times of the religious services held at the prison, and can arrange with your wing officers for you to be able to attend these.

The drug team within the prison are of particular importance. Even if you have no history of substance abuse, and your crime is not drug or alcohol related you must meet with the team If you fail to do so, it will be a “black mark” against your prison records which could count against you when your time for release on TAG or probation is due for consideration. If you do have drug or alcohol issues, they are able to help you.

The medical team will give you a very quick medical check. Don’t expert Harley Street care and attention, they are just concerned with your basic wellbeing and in deciding if you are capable of work or education.

The education departments within prison form a large part of the daily regime. They will firstly ask you to complete a questionnaire about your educational background and then ask you to take a series of tests to show your reading and maths levels. All prisons offer course to improve your reading and maths levels, including English as a Foreign Language. They also offer a wide variety of different courses depending on which prison you are held, ranging from Cookery to Cleaning, Bricklaying to Creative Writing  and Customer Service to Business Accounting. The education departments within the prison are all focussed on gaining you qualifications for which the prison is paid, if you want to learn French (say) unless they can get paid for it you have to do it yourself.

Probation are an integral part of the prison system. The majority of prisoner’s serve only a proportion of their sentence in prison, with the remainder on probation whilst living and working outside. During your first few days in prison you will meet with the probation office who will agree with you what courses and aims you need to achieve whilst in prison to aid your safe and law abiding return to society. Remember that when released from prison you may be subject to the monitoring and control of the probation service.

The gym within a prison is a very well used facility. Like any gym on the outside, you must attend a gym induction before you are eligible to go to the gym. In many prisons there is a restriction on how many prisoners can attend the gym and there are waiting lists. Even if you are not interested in keeping fit do complete the gym induction.

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