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A New Life

Tracey R My name is Tracey and I was convicted of fraud in November 2011. My sentence, which was a custody possibility sentence was scaled down to 60 hours community service and a one year suspended sentence. After a marriage breakdown, in 2003, and a subsequent residency

A Champion Christmas

Grant Thomas Monday January 23rd 2012. After a harrowing Christmas and new year period, which was precipitated by my latest bout of depression, sleeplessness and worthlessness, I rather despondently picked up the phone to call the First Step Trust. At this juncture my life had not fully

An open letter to Chris Grayling from an ‘old lag’

Dear Mr Grayling, I read with great interest your speech on Tuesday. As someone who has been to prison, and now recruits and trains mentors, I am doing the work you want to encourage. But I find your description of me as an ‘old lag’ offensive and

Curtis and Jodie’s story

Curtis and Jodie Curtis and Jodie are making living together work for them, but they feel they’re not getting the right support Jodie: We’ve been together a year and live together at a new place. So far it’s been alright; it gets annoying sometimes when you’re in

Aaron’s story

Aaron Aaron writes about the challenges of resettlement and his hopes for the future My experience since being out of prison is that they just throw you out and just leave you, and they only step in when you mess up. They’ll then say they were there

Damian’s story

Damian Damien is working with the CRAE to help improve conditions for young people in custody I got involved with the Children’s Rights Alliance because of my past experience of being in custody. I wanted to change that experience for people who go through it. I especially

17 and homeless

Lucy Lucy was kicked out of home on her 17th birthday My mother and I have never had a good relationship; the difference in our personalities has always kept a brick wall between us. For years there’s been tension in our household and even months when my

POEM: This is my story

Look I ain’t God so I ain’t the creator I’m thinking of a time where there were no haters Where people could walk around with no fear Where kids could see their mums with no tears This is my story so please listen carefully Let someone want

Review: Love Life 6958

Ella G reviews Love Life 6958: Memoirs from the Pen by Chris Syrus Life is a journey sometimes walked in light, sometimes in the dark. This book invites you on a journey into the heart of a man, Chris Syrus, who through his talent powerfully and effectively

Poem: One Month In

The anger, the heartache, the pain, the despair, I look in her eyes, I see it all there The hurt I have caused, the promises broken, I see in her tears without words being spoken. The sound of her deep wracking sobs breaks my heart I know

From Strangeways to the ‘Write Stuff’

James MacVeigh James MacVeigh’s first play hit the stage in a prestigious London theatre. Here he tells the story of how he went from robber to writer. My Dad kicked me out in 1963 at the age of 16. After I was caught breaking into cars, I

Writing with Conviction

David Honeywell Education – or should I say my lack of it was the very thing that made my life a very long up-hill struggle. And it was my poor schooling and bad teachers that made me despise anything to do with classrooms or learning for over