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“Recovery Comes from Within”: Prison Walks and Communities

"We were not sure, we could see loads of challenges in it, but thought - lets give it a go!"
Anne-Marie Quigg


“Recovery Comes from Within”: Prison Walks and Communities

Wednesday 20, September 2017 by Anne-Marie Quigg

Friday, 29th September 2017 will mark a unique moment in Recovery Walk Scotland History.   On that day 14 out of the 15 Prisons in Scotland will be holding their own Recovery Walks. There will be recovery ambassadors from the outside at every one of these recovery walks for prisoners and staff held within the walls of a Scottish prison.

In addition, each of Scotland’s prisons will also be sending representation to Recovery Walk Scotland 2017 in Dundee on Saturday 30th September. Prisoners released for the day and staff recovery advocates and supporters will be there with their banners and flags flying, taking their rightful place alongside the whole recovery family in Scotland.

In Scotland, there are 13 publicly managed prisons and 2 privately managed prisons (HMP Kilmarnock and HMP Addiewell). We know many people start their recovery journey in prison, detox from methadone in prison or increase their physical and mental wellbeing through exercise and activity while they are inside.

Helping people stuck inside prison is dear to the hearts of many people in recovery and any information about prison recovery travels very fast across our social media highways.  It’s the same for us in the SRC; we want to help build recovery communities inside prisons as well as outside in the local community.

4 years ago we were asked, “ Is it possible to have a Recovery Oriented System of Care within a prison Setting”.  We were not sure, we could see loads of challenges in it, but thought - lets give it a go! So we began helping Perth prison with its recovery building work. Within a year other prisons were knocking at our door to help build recovery in their prison.

The story so far

  • 2 Prisons have held Recovery Conversation Cafes - day events
  • 1 Prison has had 2 Recovery Colleges
  • 1 Prison has had all staff attend bespoke internal Recovery Awareness Sessions
  • Many officers and staff have attended external Recovery Events and training.
  • Several now have their own weekly Recovery Cafes.
  • Many more are in various stages of developing some or all the above.
  • A Scotland wide Recovery Prison Network is in its infancy

Scotland is unique in the world – we are the only place where prisons take part in the national recovery walk and now 14/15 prisons are proving that recovery really is contagious in Scotland and it really is everywhere! 

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