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Prison Radio Association in numbers

86% of people in prison listen to National Prison Radio, and they listen for an average of 9.6 hours each week.

These are among the key findings from the Prison Radio Association’s 2018 Impact Snapshot.

Each year the we publish the results of our evaluation in an easy-to-read summary. This year’s document is available to download here.

Other key milestones include receiving over 12,000 items of correspondence in the past twelve months from people in prison and their loved-ones on the outside.

National Prison Radio is a lifeline for many people in prison. One listener, serving time in HMP Stoke Heath, wrote, “I’d like to thank you for being that continuous link that allows not only me, but all of us separated from loved-ones, to give them a shout out and to let them know that we are thinking about them. It’s priceless.”

Our partnership work has gone from strength to strength. Over the past twelve months, we have featured the work of over 180 other organisations in our broadcasts, using the airwaves to help amplify their messages.

Key campaigns have included:

  • Books Unlocked, our long-running partnership with the National Literacy Trust which gives people in prison renewed confidence to read or write more;
  • Safe, a series of programmes produced with support from the Ministry of Justice to support people in prison who have spent time in local authority care – that’s almost one in every four people in prison;
  • National Probation Service campaign designed to improve interactions with probation staff.

We have also launched our first two podcast series – Sex Talk, in partnership with Public Health England, and also Double Bubble, an innovative audio drama in partnership with Stop Loan Sharks. These have been downloaded over 30,000 times in their first four months.

We measure our impact in a variety of ways, including an annual questionnaire published in Inside Time newspaper which received over 700 responses, and an on-going programme of face-to-face interviews with people serving time in establishments across England and Wales. Our methodology has been developed in partnership with the BBC and RAJAR, the official audience-measuring body for the UK radio industry.

Michael Spurr, the Chief Executive of HM Prison and Probation Service, said, “The Prison Radio Association have been a great partner to work with and it’s fantastic what’s been achieved over the past twelve years. When you’re in prison, in a cell on your own, radio can allow people to speak to each other individually, to address real issues. Most importantly, National Prison Radio is highly valued by people in prison.”

Phil Maguire, Chief Executive of the Prison Radio Association, said, “The whole team is incredibly proud of these results. It has been a good year, and there is much more to come. We have exciting plans. During the next twelve months, we’ll be growing our use of digital media in new and innovative ways; helping those going through the criminal justice system to change direction and fulfil their potential.”

The Prison Radio Association is a charity that uses media to transform lives and reduce crime. It runs National Prison Radio, the world’s only national radio station for prisoners. Available across England and Wales via in-cell television, it has revolutionised the way we communicate in prisons.

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