A former prisoner who says art has changed his life, has curated a new exhibition at internationally renowned Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate.
A former drug addict has become a successful paid chef a year after his release from prison.
When I first met John*, he came across as being very shy and quiet. I attended an initial meeting where I met with Johnís Probation Officer and we agreed actions and goals for him to take to help aid his rehabilitation and tackle the issues that have led him to commit the crime in the first place.
I was asked to work with Andrew* to help improve his self-esteem and decision making skills which led to his drug abuse. At our regular meetings, we explored solutions to his issues and obstacles to his future aspirations. Slowly through this work, his perceptions about himself began to change from feelings of guilty and helplessness, to being able to acknowledge his own personal strengths and attributes.
The recent case I worked on as a new volunteer has been incredibly rewarding and uplifting. I have been able to encourage the young man Iíve been working with to expand his interests and to begin reassessing his options.
Peter Ė who was imprisoned for a burglary Ė came out a different person. He admits to not having been a particularly good person in the past and sees a successful programme he took part in as a tipping point where he started aiming towards a positive change.
A service user has successfully addressed her drug addiction and secured a paid job as a Recovery Worker thanks to the extra top up supervision and support provided by one of our Probation Officers after a short-prison sentence.
Benjamin was born into a life of drug-fuelled violence and crime. Only 30 years old, he has over 60 convictions. He has also been stabbed eight times and shot in the leg. But he recently made a decision to end the criminal lifestyle his dad initiated him into as a child. KSS CRC has been there to support him in his efforts to be crime-free.
In a drastic attempt to make a fresh start and protect her family, Sue moved away from her home and her children. Nearly two years on, she is sober and has a paid job thanks to getting involved with our Service User Council.
Fred felt his chances of ever getting a job were over when he was caught and subsequently sentenced for a serious drug offence. But volunteering with our Service User Council helped him to regain his confidence and, one year on, to find paid employment.
Jason was sentenced to a community order for a fraud offence. The order, which Jason has successfully completed with KSS CRC, included 100 hours of unpaid work (known as Community Payback). During his order Jason so impressed while carrying out Community Payback at Stonepillow Restore that heís been taken on as a volunteer.
When Arron was about to reach a milestone birthday, he came to the decision to take the help KSS CRC was offering him on his licence to quit heroin after years of addiction and to embrace a fresh start.
Alex* was doing well at school and his mum had high expectations for his future. But then he learnt of a different lifestyle, one that led him down the path to drug dealing and crime. Now 26-year old Alex has put his difficult past behind him and is working towards a brighter future for him and his two children. He has gone from committing crime to being a key player in the development of work to give other service users a chance to turn their lives around ‚Äď just as he is doing.
"After my conviction"Ě, Colin says, "No one would give me a chance"Ě. He had 20 years of retail experience under his belt. But it didn't matter what job he went for, the interview would always end the same way. "It was that one question every time the one asking me what my conviction was for. I'd watch their faces and there it was every time that look. And then I knew . . . "
Twenty-one-year-old John who has committed a string of burglaries and drug offences after struggling with very difficult family issues has worked so hard in prison to change, he is now applying to university to study counselling.
Lee was the poster boy for repeat offending. His was a classic case: in and out of care homes as a child, an absent father, a mother with mental health issues, expelled from every school he attended, and an anti-authoritarian attitude that always got up the sentencer's nose.
A 23-year-old man has arrived in reception to see Probation Officer Jo. She's surprised he's turned up. She makes a detour to reception on the way to see him and picks up a personal alarm.