From left: Erwin James (Freelance writer), Sir Joseph Pilling (Former Koestler Trust Chair), Tim Ahern (Former Lord Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea), Lord Ramsbotham (Former Chief Inspector of Prisons)
"Angela is bloody impressive… she really knows her stuff."
Member of Michael Gove’s team, Ministry of Justice
"I found what you had to say really interesting and inspiring and our meeting certainly made me realise even more than previously the importance of the Arts in the prison context. Their role in the education and rehabilitation of offenders, especially those with minimal schooling, is clearly vital”
Dame Sally Coates, United Learning
“It will be great to have someone with your influence and enthusiasm involved with helping us in the future.”
Member of the Strategy Unit, Ministry of Justice
"Angela Findlay has a remarkable record of working in prisons. She is a most able and engaging presenter of the case for including the arts in every offender resettlement programme. I could not recommend her talk more strongly to anyone who has an interest in this vital subject."
The Lord Ramsbotham, former Chief Inspector of Prisons
IN RESEARCH, IT WAS FOUND THAT ARTS PROJECTS CAN HALVE THE EXPECTED RATE OF RE-OFFENDING.
(“UNLOCKING THE VALUE,” NEW PHILANTHROPY CAPITAL, 2011)
WORKING WITH ANGELA
When it comes to prison reform there will be few people who have clearer insights into the issues than Angela. Having spent nearly 20 years working as an artist in prisons and YOIs both in England and Germany, she has huge experience of both sides of the Criminal Justice System. On the one hand she has helped hundreds of prisoners access skills and potential they had not been aware of. On the other she has experience of the benefits of working in a progressive German prison overseen by an autonomous governor in which the arts were allowed to play a prominent role in the rehabilitation of the prisoners.
In 2016, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, finally acknowledged the ‘scandalous failure’ of our prison system and promised a ‘rehabilitation revolution.’ Justice Secretary Michael Gove and his team widely consulted experts and arts organisations and Dame Sally Coates was commissioned to create a Review of Prison Education. Angela was invited to contribute her extensive experience and expertise both to the Review and to the Ministry of Justice’s new policy making and education strategies.
Angela's approach expands the generally understood concept of ‘Art in Prison’ to encompass very targeted and creative ways to tackle re-offending. Education being key, she founded the Koestler Trust's innovative Learning to Learn through the Arts Scheme creating visual arts projects designed to open pathways into education. The positive results have been acknowledged by prison governors, staff, psychologists, teachers and prisoners alike.
Whether you are a Prison Governor, a Policy Maker, an Educational organisation or a Charity seeking to know more about the role of the Arts within the Criminal Justice System, Angela’s ideas and approaches are totally relevant and valuable.
ANGELA’S EXPERTISE CAN HELP INDIVIDUALS OR ORGANISATIONS SEARCHING FOR WAYS TO REDUCE RE-OFFENDING. SHE CAN:
- Introduce you to the very specific ways the arts can help within the context of prisons and the prevention of re-offending
- Give specific examples of offending behaviour and attitudes that can be addressed through targeted exercises
- Outline the process of setting up and running an art project in prison – practicalities, costs, possible outcomes
- Advise how to adapt an existing prison art department to include more rehabilitative tools and strategies
- Offer ideas on how to raise funds to support the arts in a prison setting
- Leave you with a clear idea on how to proceed in achieving your aims