Posted: 15.09.21 at 13:11 by Lottie Welch
A cycle ride raising awareness of the isolation facing prisoners during and after their sentence will be passing through Dorchester next month.
Cyclists will be making their way across Dorset and Hampshire to raise funds for Footprints - a charity which provides mentors and staff to engage with people during their sentence.
A spokesman for Footprints said: “In 2013, the Government announced that prisoners would be moved to a resettlement prison local to their home for the last three months of their sentence. Eight years later, this is still not happening.
“Offenders are often imprisoned far from their homes, making it difficult to maintain relationships with families, despite clear evidence that these relationships are vital in reducing reoffending.
“For example, in order to visit, the families of prisoners serving in Winchester or on the Isle of Wight will have to travel by a very limited public transport system which can take many hours. For the families of women prisoners, the journey is even longer, as female offenders are usually held in Bronzefeild, near Heathrow, or Eastwood Park, near Bristol.
“Whilst prisoners are provided with a travel ticket on the day of release, they are often targeted by drug dealers near the prison or they fall into the temptation of off-licences, meaning that before they have even returned home, they are back in an addictive pathway leading to reoffending.”
Footprints works across Dorset and Hampshire and can also help by meeting people at the prison gates on the day of release.
There are four routes as part of the Far From Home cycle ride on October 9:
• Portland to Guys Marsh (40 miles)
• Portland to New Forest (90 miles)
• Winchester to New Forest (23 miles)
• Portland to Winchester (110 miles)
Riders will meet at the end in the New Forest for a celebration.
To take part, contact Caroline Stevens by emailing [email protected] or calling 07979 855843.
For more information or to donate, visit footprintsproject.co.uk
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