Any prisoners at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP), especially those who do not have regular visits from family and friends, are eligible to participate.
Referrals come from family, prisoners and HMP programs.
General Program Description
The purpose of the program is to offer support to prisoners during, and after, their imprisonment through contact with “friendship volunteers ” from outside H.M.P. This is on a one-to-one basis, hence the name 121.
This program operates under the direction of the John Howard Society. A Prison Volunteer Committee consisting of Society representatives, plus those from H.M.P., will oversee the operation of the 121 program. The Committee will be responsible for such matters as volunteer recruitment and selection, and ongoing development and evaluation of the program.
Although 121 is ultimately the responsibility of the John Howard Society, every effort will be made to keep Corrections, Social Services, church organizations and the general public aware of this voluntary service.
The John Howard Society 121 offers the following to prisoners:
- ongoing friendship with the volunteer based upon a minimum of two visits per month.
- contact with the “non-institutional” community. This personal touch may have a strong and lasting influence.
- the volunteer may provide a link to the prisoner’s family under the guidance of the coordinators thus assisting prisoners to maintain this contact.
- where possible, the volunteer will offer ongoing friendship and support following a prisoner’s release, to assist him in settling back into the community. In many cases, this support will need to be transferred to a volunteer in the prisoner’s home community.
To volunteers 121 offers:
- insight into the needs of prisoners.
- insight into the functioning of the penal system.
- the satisfaction of understanding and helping a person in need.
- 2 volunteer coordinators
- 5-8 volunteers