This is the second blog in our mini series about our visit to HM Prison The Mount. You can see the first blog here which talks about why we were there and our partnership with Recycle your Cycle.
HM Prison The Mount
The Mount opened in 1987, originally as a young offenders institution and is a Category C prison with over 1000 prisoners. The Mount is a training and resettlement prison, catering for a number of prisoners in the last 6 months of their sentence.
We were taken around the prison by the Head of Industry at The Mount as well as the founder of Recycle your Cycle to see the bike workshop as well as a number of other workshops.
There are a number of workshops that prisoners can take part in at The Mount, including refurbishing bikes, learning computer skills, working in the printing rooms, woodwork and window making. We were taken round to see all of these workshops and it was really interesting to hear about the value of these workshops to the prisoners – allowing them to put their time and energy into something tangible. At the woodowork workshop, for example, prisoners were taught how to make stools and they could then gift these at prison visits if they wanted to.
Another workshop we were taken around was an oak woodwork workshop, run by Rough Stuff Oak who have a workshop inside the prison. Around 20 men are employed in the workshop Monday to Friday turning over orders within 2 weeks. The prisoners are contracted to make the boards at an agreed commercial rate and the income generated is used for the running of the prison. Inmates earns a statutory wage which they can spend inside the prison.
Overall it was really interesting to see inside a prison, and witness first hand how best efforts are made to encourage prisoners to learn worthwhile and valuable skills and how by donating abandoned bicycles and holding bike sales, we are supporting this at QMUL.