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Local author supports prison literacy

21 November 2019

Local author Peter James speaks to prisoners while standing in front of a projector
A Jersey-based crime author has led a writing workshop for 24 prisoners at HMP La Moye as part of a scheme to reduce reoffending. 

Peter James, who has written 15 Sunday Times number one best-selling novels, offered the group advice on how to develop their writing technique, discussed examples of his own work, and answered questions about his own career as a writer. 

The writing program is part of a broader education and rehabilitation programme which delivers over 17,000 learning and employment hours a month. The scheme aims to reduce reoffending by offering prisoners the opportunity to build links with the community, learn new skills, and work towards completing qualifications. 

Leslie Harrison, Head of Reducing Reoffending at La Moye, said: “The aim of rehabilitation is to reduce reoffending rates by enabling prisoners to reintegrate with society. Good literacy skills make it more likely for prisoners to find work after release, which in turn makes reoffending less likely. We’re grateful to Peter for giving up his time to deliver a session that was well-received by the prisoners, and which will benefit them in the future.”

Peter James said: “The writing groups were engaged and enthusiastic, and we had some fascinating discussions about writing novels and short stories, reading, and story-telling.

“Overall, I was impressed with the range of rehabilitation programmes on offer and appreciate the work Prison Governor Nick Cameron and his team have done to create such a positive atmosphere.” 

As part of his visit, Mr. James donated a collection of his own novels, including the 15 books in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series.

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