"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
"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
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)
In recent research “Unlocking the Value” (New Philanthropy Capital, 2011) it was found that arts projects can halve the expected rate of re-offending.
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 prison overseen by an autonomous governor in which the arts were allowed to play a prominent role in the rehabilitation of the prisoners.
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.
Angela’s ideas and approaches are totally relevant and valuable in relation to the Government’s recent change of emphasis from punishment to education and rehabilitation. She has already contributed some of her ideas both to Dame Sally Coates’ Review of Prison Education commissioned by Michael Gove, as well as to the Head of Strategy in the Ministry of Justice.