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Criminon celebrates its 6th year in the UK

Added: (Tue May 21 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Criminon UK, an East Grinstead-based national charity that
rehabilitates offenders in prisons all over the UK, celebrated
its 6th anniversary on Friday 10 May at the Meridian Hall, East
Grinstead, in the presence of the Town Mayor, Cllr Alan Lord,
and the deputy Mayor, Cllr Edward Matthews. Also in attendance
were Lord and Lady McNair and Baroness Soujātā Devaris, the
celebrated cellist, along with about 130 other guests that
included 2 Criminon graduates who are former inmates.

Susan Chalmers, Executive Director of Criminon UK, gave a
presentation on Criminon's work in the UK and worldwide. She
started by reminding us of the cost of keeping the ever-growing
number of inmates (70,000 at the last count) in prison. The
prison service alone employs 40,000 staff! She then went over
the success Criminon is enjoying with its criminal and drug
rehabilitation courses. The Criminon program is now
government-funded in many parts of the world including Baja,
Mexico and Salt Lake City, Utah, USA because of its
effectiveness in truly rehabilitating inmates and keeping them
out of crime and off drugs. In the UK, around 200 inmates are
currently studying Criminon courses and the success stories they
write about
how Criminon has helped them are testament to its success.
Lorna Y, a former inmate of HMP Send (near Guildford) and
Criminon graduate, decided that she wanted to come to Criminon's
anniversary to read out her success story to the audience in
person:

"I had the chance to really look at my life and its values that
we as people may take for granted. It gave acceptable
lifestyles of how to live in today's society without breaking
laws," she said.

Mrs Chalmers then went on to thank the Criminon supervisors for
their hard work and dedication. Each was presented with a
framed acknowledgement by the Town Mayor. In the UK, Criminon
courses are run on a correspondence basis and it is the trained
supervisors (similar to Open University tutors) who help get the
inmates through. Their purpose is to ensure that they gain the
full rehabilitative benefits available from each course.

Lorna Y then presented the Mayor with a leather-bound copy of
The Way to Happiness, by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The
course she studied while in prison was based on this book which
is a common sense non-religious moral code. The Way to
Happiness is Criminon's key course but there are seven other
courses on offer, all written by L. Ron Hubbard and used
worldwide to rehabilitate offenders.

Mrs Chalmers also spoke of her trip to Salt Lake City with a
British film crew who wanted to film the New Life Program run by
the Probation Service there. It uses L. Ron Hubbard's drug
rehabilitation methods to get young offenders off drugs as well
as rehabilitate them so they can rejoin society as productive
citizens. "With 80% of offenders testing positive to
drugs on admittance to prison in Salt Lake City and with three
out of four young offenders ending up back in prison within two
years of release, what was needed was an effective, inexpensive
and lasting solution. This is what Criminon (known there as the
New Life Program) offers. As it is non-religious, it is open to
all. This was an important factor as a large
percentage of the population in this area are members of the
Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon)," said Mrs Chalmers.

Criminon is privately funded and Mrs Chalmers thanked all those
who have given donations to the charity, giving a special
acknowledgement to Criminon's sponsors KeyMS of East Grinstead
and ACC Decorators of London. The celebration ended with an
Auction of Promises that included a 2-week stay in a chalet in
the French Alps. The total amount raised was £2500

For more information on Criminon, contact Susan Chalmers on
01342 316042 or susan@criminon.co.uk or John Wood on
0777 152 0001, john@KeyMS.com

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