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New course helps prisoners resettle in the outside world

GRADUATES: Students hold their course certificates

THESE ARE the latest recruits to graduate from a unique course which offers prisoners a valuable link to the outside world.

The group has just completed a 10-week basic training in prison work course, offered by Prison Link, an organisation funded by the Probation Service that helps to resettle offenders back into the community.

Held four times a year, the course offers volunteers a valuable insight into the criminal justice system and gives them a view on life behind bars in order to support prisoners and make sure they are treated fairly.

Most of the course is classroom-based but there is also a session in a prison and another at a Birmingham-based police station for all students to understand what life can be like as an inmate.

Run by Prison Link chief executive officer Ricky Dehaney, who is also a BBC broadcast assistant, the course is based at Birmingham City University and has just recruited its next set of students. Further courses will be held later in the year.

Dehaney has helped to recruit more than 1,000 students since the course was launched in 2004. And this time there was one extra special graduate – his daughter Rachael.

Certificates were handed out by Dr Derrick Campbell, who is among a group of newly appointed regional commissioners for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). He met the latest graduates at the monthly meeting of the Birmingham group of the People’s National Party UK in Handsworth.

PNP UK spokesperson Ben Cunningham said the course was invaluable and praised Dehaney, who had been “determined and resolute” in making sure the course was one of the most successful in Birmingham.

The new recruits who received certificates are: David Sendawula, Maureen Watson, Timothy Caines, Pauline Morrison, Tina Allen, Dennis Allen, Joe Jackson, Rayarna Middleton and Rachael Dehaney.

For further details contact Dehaney on 0121 551 7984 or 07949 203280

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