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Meet Former Prison Officer and Prison Law Consultant " Joe Chapman"

Joe joined HM Prison service in 1977 and was posted to Grendon Prison in Buckinghamshire, at this time Grendon was listed under Special Hospitals and was managed by the Prison Medical Services.


The traditional role of Prison Officer was enhanced by the opportunity to become a Group Therapy Facilitator, working initially with Young Prisoners, using the theory of Transactional Analysis, and assisting them to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Award, whilst working for 2 years as a Gym Instructor, helping to develop the prisons first Boxing Club. He qualified as BAWLA Weight Training Instructor, teaching Olympic and Power-lifting.


He was formally trained in Psychodrama techniques and qualified as a Counsellor and Group Therapist in 1983.


He went on to work with High Risk adult prisoners and chose to specialise with Life Sentenced prisoners who had committed serious sexual offences. In 1993 he received the Butler Trust Award for working with violent prisoners and their families.


Joe also worked as a Counsellor to female prisoners in Holloway and Cookham Wood Prison and with Juvenile Offenders at HMYOI Huntercombe in Oxfordshire.


He has also been employed as a Primary Care Mental Health Worker with Rethink and Oxfordshire Mind before moving back into prison work as a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor at HM Prison Bullingdon. Prior to his retirement, this year, he was a Freelance Prison Law Consultant presenting prisoners to the Parole Board for a move to Open Prison or release into the community.


Joe was never content to just lock people away! His work and ongoing friendship with ex-prisoners has often been controversial, being described in the media as a friend to killers and perverts" and he is steadfastly committed to the therapeutic treatment of prisoners. and motivated towards promoting change through positive relationships!


He was described by colleagues as a caring, emphatic custodian and counsellor, through his therapeutic work and social interaction with prisoners. He holds a belief that there are some redeeming qualities in the worst of offenders.



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