COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Prison groups ask public to put words into positive action

A coalition of prison reform and welfare charities have challenged people concerned about the UK's prison system to do something about it by becoming a magistrate, prison visitor or prisoner mentor.

More than 13,000 copies of the report What Can I Do? are being sent to libraries and advice bureaux, as well as to charities and other organisations with large numbers of volunteers.

The charities behind the report, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, the Prison Advice and Care Trust and the Churches Criminal Justice Forum, hope it will quell what they say is misinformation about the prison system, by encouraging the public to experience the system themselves.

"We've had a lot of strong opinions about what's wrong with our criminal justice system and this report says if you think something is wrong, this is what you can do about it," said a spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment.

The report contains details of the different roles members of the public can play in an official position or as a volunteer in the Prison and Probation services, in prisoner mentoring or victim support.

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