UK: finding an outlet

A journey of rehabilitation by literacy

About 16% of the general population is illiterate in the United Kingdom, against roughly 50% of the prison population. How does illiteracy change one’s life in prison? Why are reading and writing so important?

Noel Smith learned to read and write while serving time in prison. Literacy fundamentally changed his perspective on life and pushed him to further develop himself through education. Today, he is an author and editor for Inside Time, a newspaper published for prisoners that also serves as a platform for them to speak out.

Prison Insider talked with Noel Smith and he shared with us his story.

I was forever getting nicked for things that I did not know were against the prison rules because I could not read the prison rulebook.

Politicians pay a lot of lip service to the word rehabilitation, but in reality, very little is done.

For you to be heard on the outside, you have to take extreme action, otherwise nobody is going to know the truth.