Half of prisoners in the UK struggle to read. This doesnt just mean that they find Henry James or Thomas Hardy a challenge, but rather that 50% of prisoners do not have the reading and writing skills to manage basic daily tasks. Half of prisoners cannot read the rules of conduct on the inside, and they cannot read job adverts on the outside. This means many prisoners are unemployed on leaving prison, and so, according to a 2013 study by the Ministry of Justice, are more likely to re-offend.
Becky was caught in this cycle of re-offending. Like 84% of female offenders, Beckys crimes were non-violent: theft, handling stolen goods and fraud. She could not get a job because of her poor literacy skills and so felt like she had no choice but to support her partners illegal activities.
But our Diffusion project showed her the way to an independent, crime-free future. Whilst at HMP Low Newton, Becky received a Diffusion Book and discovered a love of reading. She is now continuing her learning journey on the outside with Adult Education Services near her home.
There is huge demand for Diffusion books. Last year, we sent over 6,500 books, and Diffusion reading groups have been run in 70% of prisons in the UK.
In fact, demand for these books is so high that we are running out of books. We have just three months left to ensure that Diffusion can continue changing lives in the 2019-20 financial year. You have previously shown extraordinary commitment to tackling social justice issues ; could you help us resolve this one?
We have the resources, in unique, specially-commissioned, easy-to-read books for adults and the relationships with prison education managers ; only you can make sure we reach vulnerable adults this year.