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NCJ Number: 150239 Find in a Library
Title: Swansea Listener Scheme: Views From the Prison Landings
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1994)  Pages:125-136
Author(s): B Davies
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 12
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This analysis of a program to provide British prison inmates with sympathetic listeners concludes that such programs can both prevent inmate suicides and have positive effects on relationships among inmates, correctional personnel, and community agencies.
Abstract: The Swansea Listener Scheme was established in 1991 as a result of two inmate suicides at the Swansea prison in 1990. One inmate was a 15-year-old detained for the alleged theft of a handbag. The Listener Scheme rests on the view that Samaritan principles of sympathetic listening can be applied formally in a prison. Samaritans are ordinary persons trained to befriend others in confidence, without giving advice or opinions. In addition, ordinary prisoners can also befriend, within a confidential setting, those who feel vulnerable or suicidal. Trained and supported by the Samaritans, the services of a volunteer inmate Listener can mean the difference between coping with prison or simply giving up. The recorded incidence of self-injuries at Swansea prison has declined by half since the program began, and no suicides have occurred. Extended interviews with all six Listeners and with 20 randomly selected staff members indicate also that the positive effects of the program extend beyond suicide prevention. Notes, appended questionnaires, and 5 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Inmate staff relations; Inmate suicide; Peer counseling; Suicide prevention; Volunteer programs
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