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Prison and resettlement face many challenges in the 21st century that require innovative new approaches to help reduce reoffending.

Pictora, a social enterprise led by RSA Fellows Robert Morrall and Philip Emery, has been piloting and evaluating new approaches with a partnership of organizations across the EU working in the prison system, linking creativity with the connected economy as a tool to help reduce reoffending.

Human creativity is endless, but for offenders the words “No!” and “it will never work” dominate. Creativity allows an offender to learn about themselves: to develop to their fullest potential and to survive in an ever-changing world, with many mutually reinforcing strands supporting resettlement. Our society’s connected economy is about exploration, risk-taking, personal production, networking, making connections, active participation in society, and our economy.

For offenders and ex-offenders to embrace this new economy they need to be able to develop their creative capabilities and understand how to make positive connections to increase their Social Capital.

By having the courage to excavate their creativity, a new world of economic and social support opportunities becomes accessible to ex-offenders. Sometimes it’s a small creative connection that makes a life time of difference.

The work of this project is being highlighted at a free Fellow-led Create 4 Life Conference on Tuesday 4 July at the British Library, 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB. The conference explores:

  • The challenges to resettlement in the 21st Century
  • Why creativity is important in a changing society
  • Why understanding and engaging in creativity and the connected economy is important for offenders
  • The impact and project evaluation
  • A taster of the training modules created

The launch of the innovative Creative Sustainable Solutions qualification, developed in conjunction with the REED-NCFE partnership, Insider Access, and the NCFE awarding body. This new national qualification offers a distance learning option for offenders in prison helping to build a sustainable and stable resettlement based on practical creative thinking, sustainable living and access to the world of work.

You can find out more about the Create 4 Life Conference here or email robert@pictora.org to book your free delegate place.

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