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Religious rehab for Muslim men in prisons

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How faith can help Muslim men in prison is the talking point for a conference this week at Brunel University London.

People working in prisons, mental health, social services and academia will hear how religious guidance could help turn Muslim inmates’ lives around.

Experts at Wednesday’s conference will also talk about how working with faith groups in prisons can help both offenders and their families.

Five per cent of the UK population is Muslim, but Muslim men make up fifteen per cent of the UK prison population, with a large amount in high-security jails.

“The Muslim community faces various challenges,” said co-organiser, Rahmanara Chowdhury.  

“That limits opportunities for offenders and their family members to seek and access help, and can contribute to mental health issues,” the Brunel PhD student added.

“Part of the problem is that it isn't talked about - there is fear of drawing negative attention as well as family concerns about being outcast by their communities.”

The conference aims to find ways to break this cycle and encourage professionals from different backgrounds to work together and recognise the positive role all faiths can play in prevention and rehabilitation.

Speakers include Nottingham Trent University’s Professor Belinda Winder and Associate Professor Nicholas Blagden, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist Dr Raymond Hamden, and sisters Nancy and Maya Yamout from Rescue Me, Lebanon, a rehabilitation program for accused Islamist terrorists.

The conference is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s Grand Union Doctoral Training Programme (GUDTP) Incubator Fund and Brunel University London. It was organised by Rahmanara Chowdhury and University of Warwick Doctoral Researcher, Damian Terrill. For more information, email Rahmanara.Chowdhury@brunel.ac.uk

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Aitchison/PrisonImage.org

Reported by:

Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268176
hayley.jarvis@brunel.ac.uk