On 7th November, Khulisa was proud to be alongside peer organisations and fellow-contributors at the launch of a co-authored book called Life Beyond Crime. The book has been published by Lemos&Crane, in association with the Koestler Trust and member organisations of the Monument Fellowship and brings together a collection of poetry, prose and artwork which seeks to respond to the question ‘What do those at risk of offending, prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn?’ Contributors include current and former prisoners; criminal justice practitioners; educators and academics; as well as our very own Programme Design and Development Director, Lisa Rowles whose contribution is called ‘The Voice Behind The Mask’ (p31). Lisa’s essay emphasizes Khulisa’s key message for practitioners and policy makers and calls for a greater emphasis in helping prisoners to “think and feel more effectively, to express themselves clearly and communicate their needs, hopes and fears”. Based on insights from a range of our partners, our participants and our peers, our contribution challenges the perception that prisoners actively choose crime as a life choice:”the reality is vastly different … They often lack the most basic of skills to think, feel and communicate; or are consistently so ‘triggered’ by circumstance that their reactions pull a violent mask over the capability they do have to think clearly.”
The book contnues to amass great recognition, and is available to purchase here:
“It is rare to read a hopeful book on prisons today. This is a colourful and glorious festival of short individual contributions, underlining the importance of engaging with others and of sharing our common humanity, despite the many walls which divide us. Everyone should join the conversation: it’s all about recognising the value in every individual and about reaching out to encourage those who struggle." - Nicola Padfield, Professor of Criminal and Penal Justice, University of Cambridge; Master, Fitzwilliam College
To read more about the Monument Fellowship, its members and values – an introductory manifesto with short essays is available here.