Diffusion Books

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Improving Literacy, Inspiring Hope

Why does Diffusion matter?

On entering prison, individuals tend to have “extremely poor literacy rates” (CREESE, 2016). Only 50 per cent of prisoners have functional literacy skills, compared to 86 per cent of the general population.

Not being able pass the time by reading in prison may seem tragic enough, but for prisoners it can be devastating. Many studies have confirmed that participation in education reduces the chances of reoffending (see DAVIS et al, 2013; Ministry of Justice, Transforming Rehabilitation, 2013; MACHIN et al. 2010). The evidence is clear. Teaching prisoners to read has a huge impact on their prospects for effective rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Another key factor, which is often overlooked in the pursuit of more hard skills such as literacy and numeracy, is the development of positive personal relationships. Skills such as empathy, verbal communication and self-awareness are rarely addressed by prison education programmes, but they are vital in reducing reoffending too!

That is where Diffusion can help!

We have specially commissioned easy-to-read books, with gripping plots, that help improve reading skills while emphasising the importance of making good life choices and fostering positive relationships.

We resource prison reading groups with the books they need to improve literacy in prisons. Within these reading groups, inmates help each other and discuss the issues raised by the text, using questions at the end of each chapter.

And we really are making a difference! We were delighted to receive this wonderful feedback from a Learning and Skills manager at HMP Low Newton:

“I think they are excellent books and they have given learners who are not confident readers the opportunity and enthusiasm to start reading. This is a huge achievement for some as we have many learners who just would not normally engage in any type of reading.”


Looking to the future 

This is your chance to fuel the reading revolution that’s taking place in prisons across the UK. We have sent Diffusion books to nearly all of the prisons in England and Wales, but why stop there?

There are so many more vulnerable adults across the UK, Ireland and around the world that would benefit from receiving a Diffusion book. For example, literacy rates are also low within the homeless population and many refugees need help learning English. We have connections to homeless charities and community groups that work with these under-privileged groups, but we want to do more! These books are a “fantastic teaching tool” (English tutor at HMP Hewell) and we believe that anyone who struggles with reading should have access to them!

Get involved!

SPCK supporters like you have helped so many prisoners, like this man from HMP Barlinnie who has told us:

“this is the first book I have read! My age is 61. It made me think about making choices and other people’s point of view and planning ahead. I enjoyed taking part in a reading group because it built my confidence and showed that I am not alone in my reading skills.”

Give to SPCK today, and you too can change a life just like this one.