HMP Inverness Radioskills Programme a Great Success

A special event to celebrate the completion of a 6 week radio programme was held at HMP Inverness on Tuesday 24th February. This partnership project provided by Radioskills involved Criminal Justice Social Work, Fife College, MFMT and the Scottish Prison Service.

Radioskills is a local radio broadcasting training organisation, providing training on many aspects of radio broadcasting and digital skills, including interviewing and presentation techniques, show planning, research, editing and mixing and recording audio. As the course progressed, it became apparent that the skills gained extended beyond practical digital communication skills and prison staff and participants alike are impressed with the results. One participant said “During the course I learned the value of teamwork and communication.” Another said “Taking part in the Radioskills has meant that I’m not so nervous in groups anymore.”

Tracey Storer, Programme Tutor from Fife College, along with Jennie Owen, Criminal Justice Officer, has been involved in initiating the training programme with Radioskills and believes the course has ticked a lot of essential boxes. “The participants have developed skills which will be transferrable when they leave the prison environment such as attendance and reliability, completion of tasks and working to a brief. Their communication and particularly listening skills have improved during the course, as have their social skills and they are much more open to working as part of a group.”

Head of Offender Outcomes at HMP Inverness, Peter Rawlinson, agrees, “HMP Inverness is constantly looking for new and inventive ways to engage prisoners in purposeful activity.  Through such activities, we are aiming to promote citizenship, develop learning and employability skills and motivate those in our care to transform their lives and become responsible members of society.  This project, run in partnership with colleagues from Fife College, Highland CJSW and with tutors from MFMT is awaiting formal evaluation, but anecdotal evidence so far indicates it has been enormously successful in developing communication skills, self-confidence and computing ability amongst the group of prisoners involved.  We very much hope to make radio skills teaching a permanent part of the purposeful activity in HMP Inverness.”

The event on February 24th celebrated participants’ achievements over the six week course, with families invited along to see participants receive certificates.