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Rapport Building and Communicating Supporting Specific Needs

Coaching in Prisons: Improving Rehabilitation Through Collaboration

In the third part of our series on using coaching as a tool to tackle reoffending, Professor Rosie Meek offers some advice to coaches on how to build effective relationships with prison staff

What is the primary purpose of imprisonment? Traditionally, opinion has been divided over whether the role of incarceration should be as a punishment and deterrent, or a mechanism for prisoner rehabilitation.

“The current rhetoric from our government is that it should be both: a form of containment by protecting the public and punishing people but also be a way of reducing the likelihood of people reoffending,” says Professor Rosie Meek, who is author of the Sporting Chance review which takes an evidence-based look at the role of sport in the justice system.

With sport and physical activity evolving as one of the most powerful means of rehabilitation, Professor Meek believes pushing the sport for development agenda and upskilling our coaches to work in the criminal justice system and in partnership with prison staff will directly contribute towards efforts to tackle reoffending, and provide compelling evidence to persuade the public that rehabilitation works. 

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