Midlands prison puts on day of celebration and ends up with a record
HMP Featherstone’s efforts to make their Prison Election celebratory were rewarded with a User Voice record figure for staff voting. Eight-six per cent of prison staff voted in an election that was made even more special by the activities and arrangements prison authorities had put on around the vote.
A special menu, the prison choir, a 26-time Guinness World Record-holding motivational speaker and more lined up to make things go with a bang, as an enthusiastic resident electorate (72% turnout) helped the Prisoner Voice party to a narrow victory. With a manifesto based around residents’ mental health needs, they received 41% of the vote, with the Better Prison Community close behind on 38%, The Real Team achieving a creditable 21%.
“That’s the type of election you want: a close one,” said User Voice’s Midlands Engagement Team Leader Garry Henry. “It shows all the manifestos appealed across the prison.”
The User Voice team entered the prison just before 7am to start the first wave of voting and it was all wrapped up by lunchtime. User Voice founder/CEO Mark Johnson gave a speech at the count, and declared it “One of the best elections I’ve seen. The high staff turnout shows a real commitment to change and staff-prisoner relations.”