This week

A week at Dartmoor


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


the Wednesday Whisper


Support is vital for frontline workers

This week and last week are intense weeks developing the DRM at Dartmoor. Working with our team, meeting the next group of trainees and offering DRM to Officers.

While Prison Officers often get a bad name, it’s been a privilege to sit in a circle with Officers and hear how dedicated they are, how much they want to see prisoners make progress and how heart breaking it is to see when a prisoner just can’t seem to be reached. We’ve been talking about how the DRM increases the chances of a prisoner making progress while at the same time, making it easier and safer for the officers to communicate. This is the beginning of another strand of how the DRM can improve prison conditions for everyone.

I asked the Officers to reflect on what it’s like to work in the front line experiencing, on a daily basis, problems and issues that most people experience rarely, if ever, confront, in a setting of deprivation with no beauty. We explored how it affects a person if they don’t talk about it and creating safe spaces to talk about it? I want Officers, who feel supported and cared for, operating on Wings because that is more likely to create calm communication and de-escalation when prisoners communicate badly. And that keeps everyone safer and makes their jobs easier.

One of our Officers who trained in DRM is highly respected by the prisoners. This week he was confronted by a prisoner in a very disrespectful way and many people saw the incident. We ran some Wing Circles to talk about it and it was great to hear the prisoners take issue with the prisoner and hold him accountable, because, on the basis that this particular officer is always respectful in his approach, the prisoners did not want him to be treated badly by anyone.

Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness

This week I was thinking about my own capacity. The Dartmoor Project is growing and developing. We will be bringing on another 12 trainees soon and that means a team of 20 full time DRM Facilitators in the prison. I’m managing the joy and overwhelm I’m experiencing because, while this is as good as my vision, it’s presenting new challenges about organising.

The Wednesday Whisper

Are you ever in joy and overwhelm? How does it affect you?


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