In many prisons across the world basic human rights are not being met and systems are collapsing. We know that stripping people in prison of their humanity damages their mental health, increases violence, and does nothing to reintegrate them into a fractured society. We also know that positively changing prison conditions creates a safer society, both inside and outside the prison walls.
Practical solutions which meet the most basic of needs - food, water, better sanitation, reduction of overcrowding… which lead to a healthier prison population.
Therapeutic solutions which meet the psychological needs of people in prison, significantly reducing the level of violence.
Projects which meet the growth needs of those serving sentences, leading to a drop in rates of recidivism.
My name is Raphael Rowe. When I was 20 years old, I was wrongfully arrested, charged, and convicted of a murder and series of robberies I did not commit. I was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent the next 12 years inside British maximum-security prisons fighting to prove my innocence. Finally, my case was referred to the British Court of Appeal where my convictions were ruled unsafe, and I was set free.
Since my release, I have worked as a journalist and broadcast reporter for the BBC, hosted the ‘Second Chance’ podcast series, and, more recently, fronted the Netflix series ‘Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons’. Through my work I have found that in many prisons across the world basic human rights are not being met, and systems are collapsing. I have seen first-hand that stripping people in prison of their humanity damages their mental health, increases violence, and does nothing to reintegrate them into society. I have also seen that positively changing prison conditions creates a safer, less fractured society, both inside and outside the prison walls.
All this has inspired me to try to make positive changes in prison systems throughout the world. I believe passionately that we can make such changes, and this is why I have set up the Raphael Rowe Foundation.
Our team is supported by an incredible board, several of whom have experienced life in prison.