The Origins of YCG as told by founder Raff Esposito
“Whilst at HMP Oakwood in 2015 I was completing the final year of my Law degree with the support of the Senior Management Team. They were keen to use my studies to further support the development of the prison community. Working together, we initially envisaged the concept of creating a communication hub to ensure clear and concise information was sent from senior staff to all prisoners.”
“Within months of these discussions a new Peer Led Initiative (PLI) was developed at HMP Oakwood called ‘Your Consultation Group.’ In November 2015 we were granted permission to open an internal office with four YCG caseworkers who had been approved to provide all stakeholders with access to Prison Service Orders/Instructions/Policy Frameworks. This included the ability to provide a trusted source of Information and Guidance to all within the community.”
“The Director of HMP Oakwood was very forward thinking and willing to support prisoners in leading improvement within the prison and taking responsibility for their sentence and future. This vision was formed from a core belief that his staff should ‘see the man not the prisoner.’ Both he and his Head of Support services acted as an inspiration to me and as such I set out on a journey to create a service that could help as many prisoners and staff as possible with the day-to-day regime of prison life. What you now see before you is born from their guidance, support, and faith in me.”
YCG established as a collaboration with Senior Management at HMP Oakwood.
YCG recognised by the Prison Reform Trust as a model for national adoption of best practice.
YCG starts partnering with the Criminal Cases Review Commission for improved access to justice.
Becoming a Stakeholder
Cited with approval by HMIP/ Commenced policy submissions and recommendations to MOJ Deregulation and Operational Policy Team on prison law.
A Slight Pause
Entering into partnership agreements with our Justice Partners