From its inception, WEPHREN has recognised people in prison and people with lived experience as a key stakeholder group. July 2022 marks the start of a new phase within the network, to increase the visibility of this important group and ensure that the voices of lived experience are listened to and heard.
At the end of June, Paula Harriott, Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust and a member of the WEPHREN Steering Committee, gave an enlightening plenary talk at the ICRC First World Conference on Health in Detention in Geneva, Switzerland. She spoke passionately and convincingly about the need for meaningful engagement with people with lived experience. A subsequent WEPHREN workshop at the conference shone a light on a number of countries where innovative work is happening in prisons but also found that in some countries there is an absence of engagement with people with lived experience although a desire to address this in the future.
To mark WEPHREN’s 5th anniversary and Nelson Mandela International Day we are launching a programme of work highlighting what is being done globally in this area. We are very grateful to Paula who will be leading a group of people with lived experience from all over the world to advise and direct the work of WEPHREN. We will also be developing a repository of resources online and hearing from other voices from across the world. Please watch this space!
If you would like to contribute, please email WEPHREN at firstname.lastname@example.org