Last year the Howard League Student Group recruited over 150 members and raised £400 for the charity.
The society organised various events with the support of the School of Social Sciences, including a talk from ex-inmate and author Frankie Owens, who held a book signing at the University for the recently published book The Little Book of Prison A Beginners Guide. Ex-offender Noel ‘Razor’ Smith was also invited to the University to talk to students and staff from the Faculty about his offending background followed by a Q&A session with leading Criminologist Professor David Wilson.
As well as this, the society was offered the role of editing the Friends of HMP Grendon Therapeutic Community Newsletter, the first of which was issued in December 2011. Grendon Friends Trust is a registered charity who supports the unique therapeutic regime at HMP Grendon. They do this by providing money for large scale projects not supported by central government that help with an individual’s therapy, or more broadly advances therapy within the prison. Projects they fund include; artist in residence, children’s play area, outside the gate visiting centre and growing for Grendon. Three members of the society - Sophie Rowe, Jake Harvey and James Roden - visited HMP Grendon Therapeutic Community. During the visit students met with staff for a question and answer session over lunch and spent time talking to the inmates on their community wing.
The society ran various fundraising events, including a raffle where the lucky winner received three tickets to Drayton Manor theme park.
Last June the society organised a funded trip for Howard League members to attend the Annual Perrie Lectures event. The Perrie Lectures aim to promote dialogue and discussion on prison/crime related issues by holding an annual lecture at the Prison Service College, Rugby. The theme of this last year’s lecture was ‘Prisons: Where does the community come in?’. The lectures focused on the role the local community play in the life of prisons. What more can local people do to help in the rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders? Should the local community take more responsibility for offenders in its midst? What can the community offer prisoners that prison staff cannot? Should the public know more about what goes on inside prisons, and should communities be more actively involved? Guest speakers included Pastor Nims Obunge (Founder of the Peace Alliance in London), Javed Khan (Chief Executive of Victim Support), Dr Nancy Loucks (Director of Families Outside), Dr Peter Wright (Governor of HMP Nottingham) and Chair Raphael Rowe (BBC Panorama Reporter).