NATASHA WOODSTo investigate arts in prisons particularly its capacity to reduce recidivism and produce savings - UK, USA, New Zealand
I am a happily married mum of two boys ages 2 and 12. I love sewing (quilting), watching movies, going to concerts (I have been to over 250) and listening to heavy metal. I play guitar (very badly) and own a Gibson Les Paul. I have worked in the prison environment for 18 years. I was in the NSW Corrective Services for 13 years and was a Senior Correctional Officer for 7 of those. I moved to Tasmania in February 2010 and commenced work at the Tasmania Prison Service at that time as a Sport and Recreation Officer. In this role I work with Male and Female inmates ranging from Minimum Security to Maximum Security. I have approximately 5 inmate contact hours per day and do classes in things ranging from Cardmaking and quilting to painting, drawing, sculpting and airbrushing. I regularly engage volunteers and paid professionals to help me deliver a varied and eclectic number of classes and skills.
I love my job and really enjoy the people I work with both the staff and inmates alike. Some days it’s nice to have some plain old fun in such a serious place. I also believe that the artistic skills we provide and the interesting artistic media we expose our offenders to is key to reducing recidivism. Whilst in the prison it, at the very least, provides an environment that is productive, safe and mind expanding…