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Criminal justiceOffender management and rehabilitation

Season 2, Episode 4: The power of peer mentoring

Header image for the Catch22 Minutes podcast which reads "Season 2: Justice"

In the Catch22Minutes podcast, we delve into some of today’s major social challenges. We speak to frontline experts, industry leaders and young people, in pursuit of ideas for reforming public services.

The second season focused on the UK’s justice sector and was presented by Catch22’s former Communications and Marketing Manager, Josie Cochrane. From developing restorative justice to reducing the impact of court delays, this series was focused on solutions which could impact every aspect of the justice sector.

Much of the UK’s criminal justice sector recruit people with lived experience of the justice system as volunteer supporters. These ‘peer mentors’ or ‘peer volunteers’ take on a range of different roles within organisations, both within prisons and in the community, hugely supporting services. 

Peer volunteers can benefit from the experience of giving back and improving their own self-confidence, and evidence suggests peer volunteering amongst prisoners can also prevent re-offending. 

Today’s episode explores the power of peer mentors, the challenges, and some of the considerations needed when working with peer mentors. We are joined by Russell Webster, a well-known commentator on justice issues and a member of the Advisory Group for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, and David Breakspear. David, with lived experience and part of RECONNECT, helped Russell with the development of a best practice guide on how to support peer volunteers. 

Our panellists

Russell Webster

David Breakspear