The Koestler Trust is the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We encourage ex-offenders to change their lives through taking part in the arts, and we challenge negative preconceptions of what ex-offenders are capable of.
We aim to:
- Help offenders, secure patients and detainees lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts.
- Increase public awareness and understanding of arts by offenders, secure patients & detainees.
- Be a dynamic, responsive organisation which achieves excellent quality and value for money.
We inspire participation in the arts amongst offenders, secure patients and detainees through Awards and Feedback, Mentoring, Sales, Exhibitions and Events. We increase public awareness of the potential of offenders through Exhibitions and Events, Publications and contributing to research.
Our small team is based just outside HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs in west London. We partner with organisations across the UK to develop ambitious, innovative programmes that maximise resources and expertise.
Who we work with
We work across the UK’s criminal justice and secure systems. Including custodial settings (prisons, young offenders institutions, medium and high secure hospitals, secure children’s homes and immigration centres), and people in the community (on probation, engaged with youth offending teams, and on community sentences).
We also accept Koestler Awards entries from British people imprisoned abroad through a partnership with the charity Prisoners Abroad.
We work with many partner organisations including; arts venues, museums and galleries; other organisations encouraging arts and education in secure settings; young offenders teams; probation services; and charities supporting victims of crime.