Dr Shahed Yousaf and Andy West Stories from Behind Bars

Sunday 13 November 2022

Crowne Plaza Hotel

The Criminal Justice System is broken with prisons full to bursting, under-resourced and under-funded with a serious shortage of prison officers and reoffending at a very high rate. The result is prisoners who are locked in their cells for too long, many with mental health issues, and a powder keg situation as a result. Dr Shahed Yousaf is a prison doctor whose job is to spend his time running between emergencies - from overdoses to assaults, from cell fires to suicides - with one hand perpetually hovering over the panic button. Dedicated to caring for people on the margins of society, he tells us honestly and compassionately what it's like to be their doctor in a system that's in serious trouble, and suggests some solutions. Andy West is a philosopher and the author of The Life Inside: Prison, Family and Philosophy. He teaches philosophy in prisons and every day he has conversations with people inside about their lives, discusses their ideas and feelings, and listens as they explore new ways to think about their situation.Through a blend of memoir, storytelling and gentle philosophical questioning, he offers a new insight into our stretched justice system, our failing prisons and the complex lives being lived inside.

This event is in partnership with the Festival who carry out workshops in prisons across the country teaching prisoners to write bedtime stories for their children to help lessen the trauma of separation.

Andy West image by Alexander James

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