Lynn Saunders’ Story
Lynn Saunders travelled to Canada and the USA to research the management of the transition of people convicted of sexual offences returning to the community.
Lynn had worked with sexual offenders in England and Wales for a number of years and is Governor of a specialist treatment centre at HMP Whatton for people convicted of sexual offences in England. Lynn wanted to use her 2013 Fellowship to further investigate how this group could be managed and successfully rehabilitated.
Lynn visited prisons and community services in Washington State, Minneapolis, New Jersey and Vermont. She also visited five prisons and five community projects in Ontario, Canada. She found that although there were many restrictions placed on people leaving prison, Criminal Justice professionals had a clear understanding of their work. A highlight of Lynn’s Fellowship was a visit to a halfway house prison in Toronto where staff assist and support people with intellectual disabilities leaving prison. This is an area where there are significant gaps in England and Wales.
Upon returning to the UK, Lynn set about putting the learning from her Fellowship into practice. Together with colleagues from other Criminal Justice agencies and researchers from Nottingham Trent University she had worked with previously in her role at HMP Whatton, she established the Safer Living Foundation, a charity which promotes the protection of people from sexual crime, and the prevention of sexual crime. The Safer Living Foundation also supports the rehabilitation of people who have committed or who are likely to commit sexual offences against others, and now manages the transition of such people into the community for seventeen prisons.
The Safer Living Foundation won the Robin Corbett Award for prisoner rehabilitation in 2015 and a Guardian social education social responsibility award in 2016. Lynn was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nottingham Trent University in 2015 in recognition of her work with sexual offenders.
Read Lynn's report here