I have been working as a prison reformer for nearly 18 months now and as my toes slowly touch the ground I thought it was about time I started writing again. I have learnt so much in the past 18 months and yet I still find myself crippled by how difficult change can be. We talk about incremental gain and small steps but sometimes you just want everything to hurry the hell up. I have the benefit of working with a group of inspiring staff, at the prison I am currently working at. The small victories, the tiny glimmers of growth and progress make all of this worth it. But the sadness and heart break when someone gets hurt, or someone dies, remains an ongoing reminder that we are so far away from creating an environment that promotes growth and holds meaning. The constant reviewing, analysing, evaluating, changing and reworking has become an unhealthy addiction of mine. I am consumed by prison growth, trying to synthesise all of details and complexities and look for answers in a myriad of places. And then I step back and reflect upon the distance travelled in 18 months and it is significant. I never thought it would be easy and I have signed up for the long haul, this is not a job I intend to stop. I believe more than ever that promoting a humane and positive environment, with purpose and meaning, is going to address the inherent issues associated with prison. I believe that. There is no doubt in my mind. Growth is all about overcoming obstacles and thinking of alternatives and I see prisons as no different. We talk about the individual, about changing them and altering their thoughts and distortions and yet create an environment that is counter-productive to that venture. Such a task needs space and safety and an ignition of courage and passion. Dirty, unsafe environments are not conducive to such a life mission. So I hope you enjoy my blogs. I promise (and promises are ALWAYS kept in prison) to be honest and real.