Job shadowing in the Netherlands

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Purpose of the visits.


Provide interviews in HMP Shorts (STIR magazine) and HMP Greenock (Peter Patter). Speak with detainees in both prisons. Talk to the staff in both prisons. Presentation in HMP Shorts and HMP Greenock. Provide a workshop in HMP Shorts and HMP Greenock.


Introduction to my visit to Glasgow and prisons.


If you’ve made a change of criminal to an ordinary citizen with a job, that doesn’t even have to be a special step. If you work with young people who have missed the wrong path and then give them a foothold in the society again, then you can call it special. During my work at “The New Opportunity”, I gave a presentation to people who were in prison in different places in Europe. It was a presentation about my life as a criminal and my work with ‘The New Chance’ as a teacher. Following the presentation, a day later, this group of teachers was contacted. The idea here is to let ‘job shadowing’ go to Scotland.


Day 1 – Meeting Ryan Dobbin and other staff members. 


At 7:45, I get picked up by the hotel by Ryan. We’ve never met before, so it’s very exciting. There is a click on the prison and about the normal things of life and of course football. It’s over half an hour drive to HMP Shotts, the prison is upstairs on a mountain and the temperature in winter is four degrees Celsius lower.

It’s a pretty new prison that was delivered in 2012 and comes under the Scotisch Prison. Service ‘.


On the way to ‘The Learning Centre’, we come along a number of paintings. It’s work of the prisoners says Ryan. My eye falls immediately on a painting called Time.


That morning I’ll know other staff including Inigo Garrido. Inigo offers the STIR magazine within the walls of Shotts. Among him there are five detainees working with him on the layout of STIR magazine. Together with him, I’m going to an impressive space with all Apple computers equipped with the latest Adobe software.

There’s a short notice and we’re going to talk to each other. They’re aware of my arrival and follow a good conversation. They’re particularly curious about the path of criminal to honorable citizens.

Later in the morning, I should give a presentation to other detainees. I’m worried about my English what I don’t like myself. My base English is good, so I don’t have to worry.

The stand is great. The local sitting is full and with a good track, I’m going through my sheets. It goes without saying, questions are asked and everyone seems to have a good picture of my life. One seems very impressed by how it is possible to return as an ex-convict in a prison. If I close the presentation and there are no further questions, then applause sounds. People leave the room to go back to their cell. I get a hand from everyone here. Apparently a great compliment.

In the afternoon there is an interview with STIR Magazine. Professionals are going to work. You have the luxury to include the conversation through an apple computer. I remember that previously the recording was possible from equipment introduced into prison.

The new STIR with this interview comes out in August.



Day 2 – Job shadowing STIR Tour Shotss (Gregg Knox)


Picked up by Ryan, it’s always cozy on the way we talk about prisons. For example, there are 15 prisons of which 2 are privatised. Scotland has over 5 million inhabitants and there are about 8000 cells. In HMP Barlinnie, most cells have most of the cells. It’s an old Victorian prison where people mostly sit in pre-trial.

Tour in HMP Shotts


The tour in Shotts does impress me. I’m surprised how clean the departments are. I can also visit a cell and there’s a lot of stuff in the cell. I know from experience that cells in the Netherlands are more minimised. If people have life, then a logical consequence is that cells become automatic.

There is a TV, homemade paintings hanging on the wall, a bed, table, castle room and a wet corner where a dough and toilet are located.

Greg who gives me the tour says he wants to go to a Dutch system. He thinks of drugs free of charge. On my question as to whether drug use within walls is a major problem, he says that it has increased over recent years. The introduction of drugs and a telephone are a criminal offence in Scottish prison. This means that detainees have a new case.

We are also visiting some workshops. For example, there is a large area of laundry, a workshop where furniture is made, a bicycle workshop and many other workshops. It strikes me that everyone’s just doing the job.

In another department there is a sports hall with an adjacent gym. The sports hall is unlikely. Compared to Dutch prisons, you can see a sports hall with four tennis courts. With some sports, only two or four people can play a game that can be done four times now. For example, everyone is working and a large part of the department can use facilities. The gym has also been extended to the cost in England. Outside the sports complex, all departments have equipment where detainees can work in their physical condition.



STIR Jobshadowing



At the local where STIR is produced, it is busy. There is first consultation. Inigo says there is criticism of an article that they want to place. He asks the detainees for their opinion. It’s so nice to see how things go and how these detainees are involved in the process of making STIR magazine. The five detainees are very motivated. A magazine can combine several learning objectives. Think of skills such as the processing of text and the layout of pages. Learners learn to write to an audience and they need to be creative with space on a page.

All the great thing is they can get knowledge of the entire Adobe package. There is no Internet but modules can be achieved.




Day 3 – Job shadowing Art-class HMP Greenock


It’s now the third day I stay in HMP Shotts. It’s supposed to be a day in artistic formation. It is difficult because all the detainees are working on their own work, and just another contract is not in place. We are flexible, and it is good when I come up with advice and advice to the detainees in their painting. Soon I’ll get to know Ben. He has been sentenced to life and first offender before he committed a crime, he completed the art academy as a graphic artist. I’ve laid the prison focus on painting, and he’s good. The other members are relying on his expertise and regularly ask his advice. He’s behaving calmly at a distance. Most of them are working on a monochrome painting from a black background.

Ben’s already an end on the way with a portrait of a young man. The boy has a name and named Memorial Bench victim Archie Thomas. He died of a brain tumor. There was a monument for him, a bank on the beach where he liked to come to rest. One day, a storm has been brought into the water by the water water. Was it God or nature? And on my question, why he’s painting this painting, he says he’s conserving more scenes of things that have not been solved. He hopes in this way to bring things back to the attention of missing and murdered people. As it were, he’s painting colony cases. Be a special man.



Day 4 – Understanding with Lorna Callery and Marisa Farwell


Today I am being struck by Marisa, we know each other from the time when she was with other teachers in Rotterdam to visit the New Opportunity Foundation. Or I feel like it. Well, well, HMP Greenock seems to be a completely different prison. Greenock is located west of Glasgow on the west coast of the Scottish Peninsula. It’s an old Victorian prison. In the morning, your knowledge with Lorna and the rest of the team that Lorna is team leader. That morning, I’m close to the lessons learned from Art. It’s a little class, and they’re in the colour teachings of Johannes Itten.

Later in the morning, I get a tour of the Greenock prison. There are a total of five departments, two of which are women. A classic home of custody with 64 places. And a women’s house where women can reintegrate in the final stage of their punishment.

For men there is also a final phase (top end). Here, men who have lifelong life over the last four years are entitled to reintegrate into society. They are also in an old cellular complex where there is a kind of home championship. There’s carpet on the floor and there’s a big game of snooker table. The doors of the cell remain 24 hours a day, and they are themselves responsible for closing their own key. If there are calamities, you can lock the doors through an extra lock. Besides Chriswell, there is also a smaller deal for men who are at the very last stage of their punishment. A house inside the walls of prison, but not a prison away. Very nice rooms to spend the night and a normal living room with a pretty luxury kitchen.


Alisa Hall (male wing)



In the afternoon, the men flow in. It’s a lot of 10 man. The day before I spoke to some of them. Marisa is busy mapping work that the detainees sent for the Kustler Award. The awards are for the work of detainees and institutions, and there is a prize for money up to GBP 100. Participating in this is very popular. because the good friday is a few candy on the table. This was agreed with the teachers. Personally, I had some good and some cups of honey and nutella from the hotel. These were very much deducted. There were some detainees who in turn took work to show me and what my opinion was. A detainee himself has an entire map with sketches. on every page i’m shedding, he has a whole story and ask what i think. Halfway, it’s completely chaos in my head. The dialect is no longer comprehensible to his paintings and drawings. Klüte Klint is his self-chosen name name, I don’t know. Later on, I hear he’s autistic. That explains a lot. His colour use was, moreover, wonderful.



And that’s how the days run. You would say it looks like the system we know in the Netherlands. HMP Shotts is a modern prison where detainees can develop and that is a good thing. Long-term detainees are not complaining about doing their thing, getting diploma and certificates. It is an activity that has never been in a Dutch prison before. In the Netherlands it is said that we are doing everything we can to reduce the recidivist figure, but in the meantime disciplines such as artistic education are under the ordinary programme. Education is also increasingly being cut. The profits lie in ICT developments that are much cheaper. Courses can be followed by an ipad and the same medium can read books and note speakers. It is a cost-saving automation. Prisoners come with multiple on a cell, there are fewer guards. So the vast part is in the cell. This development is barbaric in HMP Shotts. In Scotland, everything is done to promote a return to society. Artistic education is very much in the forefront. If I’m going to speak to some detainees, they’ll ask. Will want to show work that goes from paintings to poetry. I am impressed by the work that has been done. Every four months, the STIR magazine publishes an art magazine, the editorial consists of detainees and an escort, together they make the magazine. The area in which they work is equipped with the most modern Apple equipment and Adobe software. In this way they really learn a box.



The Scottish Prison System is strict. During a conversation with a prisoner, this one sentence remains with me; Be a good prisoner will not make you, or coluyou to be, a good human being or society. He’s right for justice to be in a straitjacket and doing good behavior like you’ve gone through the whole journey of years, but you’re not there yet. There will be something to change during that period. That button should be around.




A number in flat 2/16 is who I’ve become

Inside here, a slave to the system

For a crime that was committed


Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

Beautiful on the outside

Ugly on the inside

Waiting for the day I look in the mirror

and the cracks go away


Inside the prison I see peaple with scars.

Each one tells a story of how the where raised

Different places, different faces

But the same story – it’s who we are


You cannot hurt me, Inside I’m strong

Tell me something about myself;

something I’ve not already thought

Words mean nothing when the thought is nothing new


Inside my cell, I am alone

My family and friends I thank

But real strength comes from

Being able to stand



God brought me into this world

But the Devil gave me eyes

In the shape of a young heart\where inside beauty lies.


Inside A-Hall I am nothing.

No different from the crowd.


Barry HMP Greenock