Podcast: TTT 015 : Why Reading is Crucial in the Rehabilitation of Prisoners with Lesley Graham
03 November 2015
Lesley Graham is an inspirational individual who works tirelessly to help others better themselves and become more educated individuals. She has worked as a teacher, lecturer and educational facilitator but currently works as Front of House for the Education Centre at Guildford Cathedral. Every individual goes through tough periods in their life, but Lesley has used her adversities to create a positive change. She has a passion for reading and whilst serving a sentence in HMP Send she lead a Reading Group for prisoners. It is said that 70% of female prisoners have no qualifications meaning that the majority of inmates have very poor literacy skills. As an educated woman with a degree in Social Administration, Psychology and Criminology Lesley volunteered as a Toe by Toe Peer Mentor to help inmates build literacy skills. A 2015 Financial Times article entitled “How reading can change prisoners’ lives” referenced Lesley’s work in prison and wrote of how many of the women Lesley taught could not recognise the alphabet, yet were reading a whole book at the end of five months. Whilst out on daily ROTL (Release on Temporary Licence) meaning that she could do volunteer work outside, Lesley gave a lecture on the importance of reading and literacy in rehabilitating prisoners. Lesley is also a recovering alcoholic and gives up her time to help three individuals overcome their addiction.