In this three part series the BBC is given a rare degree of access to prisons as it accompanies The Rt Revd James Jones, the Church of England's "Bishop for prisons," into the country's jails. Conversations with prisoners and ex-offenders- voices rarely heard on radio - are the centrepieces of these programmes, but the Bishop also talks to prison staff, politicians and opinion-formers about what prison should be for, how prisoners can be helped to become useful citizens and whether community sentences can ever win the public's confidence as a viable alternative to prison.
In the final programme, James Jones meets ex-offenders taking part in a variety of probation initiatives in Merseyside designed to cut re-offending and "pay back" the community for crimes committed. Three men on the Persistent Priority Offender scheme commend the programme for providing the supervision they found lacking on earlier probation orders. In a moving interview a mentor with the service, Lynsey, says probation saved her from prison, crime and alcoholism and her children from life in care. The Bishop visits the North Liverpool Justice Centre, a kind of one-stop-Justice shop which residents say has transformed their community but which the Government considers too expensive to replicate elsewhere.
This programme was first broadcast on January 16th 2012.