The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 years.

Our awards receive over 8,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work for achievement and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors – showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

We have no endowment or capital – our work depends entirely on donations.

Read more about us

Life Beyond Crime


Life Beyond Crime

What do those at risk of offending, prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn?


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Product Description

Life Beyond Crime brings together in an insightful and passionate debate, through prose, poems and pictures the assembled first-hand experience and wisdom of scores of contributors responding to the question, What do those at risk of offending, prisoners and ex-offenders need to learn? Contributors include past and present recipients of Koestler Awards, current and former prisoners; criminal justice practitioners; educators and academics; as well writers from the voluntary and arts worlds including theatre director Phyllida Lloyd, lyricist Sir Richard Stilgoe and sculptor Sir Antony Gormley.

“By any measure the book is a remarkable achievement … a compendium of stories, opinions and commentary covering just about every possible criminal justice circumstance.” Erwin James, Editor-in-Chief, ‘Inside Time’

“This book is a precious gift to justice professionals and those experiencing the justice system: victims and offenders, and their families – and to society as a whole. Its rich collection of positive ways forward to change criminal behaviour challenge the default pessimism in the media and among politicians about the value of doing more than punishing. This is an inspiring and moving practical handbook for change. This book should be compulsory reading for all of us who believe in the capacity of human beings to change if given the right opportunity.” Roger Graef OBE, film maker and criminologist; Visiting Professor, Mannheim Centre for Criminology, London School of Economics

“It is rare to read a hopeful book on prisons today. This is a colourful and glorious festival of short individual contributions, underlining the importance of engaging with others and of sharing our common humanity, despite the many walls which divide us. Everyone should join the conversation: it’s all about recognising the value in every individual and about reaching out to encourage those who struggle”. Nicola Padfield, Professor of Criminal and Penal Justice, University of Cambridge; Master, Fitzwilliam College


Paperback.  320 pages including colour section of Koestler artworks.

ISBN: 978-1-898001-77-5

Published by Lemos&Crane with the support of The Monument Trust and in association with the Koestler Trust and the other member organisations of the Monument Fellowship.