Thu 03 Mar, 2024

We Care: a new series for care leavers in prison on National Prison Radio

One in four adults in prison have been in the care system. Nearly half of all under-21s in contact with the criminal justice system have spent time in care.

National Prison Radio’s brand new series called We Care is here to offer listeners in prison information and support.

We Care tells the stories, struggles and triumphs of people who have come through the care system and spent time in prison.

The series features stories of people who used their time in prison to reflect on their experiences of the care system and take positive steps to create a better future.

We Care will tell the story of Ian who went from foster home to foster home, eventually turning to drugs to block out his pain. Within a year of leaving the care system, Ian found himself in prison and developed a serious drug problem. Ian found it within himself to get into education and has just finished a degree in criminology. He practices compassionate therapy and meditation.

Amir tells National Prison Radio his story of arriving in the UK as a 14-year-old unaccompanied asylum seeker. He was taken straight to a care home and talks about how he had to fight to prove to the other children that he wasn’t a snitch. He also had to contend with carers who didn’t take his ambitions seriously, and who made life miserable for him and other children like him. Amir is now completing his studies on his way to fulfilling his dream of becoming a scientist.

Frankie went in to foster care at the age of four and spent time in HMP Brixton. He says: “One thing care has done for me is it’s make me a better father…. I want my children’s lives to be so much better than my life.

As well as telling these stories, We Care will provide information from organisations dedicated to supporting care leavers in crucial aspects of their lives, including housing, education and training.

Kim, a care-leaver, says it’s not unusual for people who have been through care to feel isolated. “Don’t ever think you are alone; there is so much support out there.”

These words are the underlying message of We Care and throughout this series, National Prison Radio will provide guidance and support to prisoners if they’ve been through the care system.

We Care broadcasts on Tuesdays at 12pm on National Prison Radio throughout April and May.