• Journey to Release by Mo Smith and Toni Close - book cover

Journey to Release

Counselling in a UK Prison

by Mo Smith and Toni Close


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Journey to Release is an account of Mo Smith’s extensive experience counselling and co-ordinating a counselling service inside ‘HM Prison X’. The book gives a history of the service and looks at what is involved in a project of this kind, making it a ‘must’ for prison professionals and volunteers everywhere. It also provides an insight into the running of an ‘embedded’ prison counselling service and the clients who use it. A first-hand account, it will be of considerable interest to anyone wishing to learn about the subject, whether as an individual, prison professional, volunteer/potential volunteer, or counselling organizer/provider (including from external agencies). Once a prisoner is released from HMP X there is no further contact so the authors emphasise the importance of counselling that survives the prison setting and thus helps to reduce crime in the future. The book will also be of interest to counsellors and volunteers in a range of other settings in the UK and beyond. Based on practical experience, it focuses wholly on counselling as such (rather, e.g. than psychology/mental health-led aspects, intervention, assessment).

An invaluable explanation of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of counselling in prison. Examines the challenges facing counsellors working with incarcerated clients. Includes disguised prisoner histories, contributions from Governors, other staff, counsellors and clients, and presented in an attractive easy-to-read format.


‘The Counselling Service at HMP X was something I was very proud of while I was Governor. This book tells you all about it’— Michael Wood, Former Governor.

‘A hugely informative work’— Neil Thomas, Prison Governor.

‘Highly recommended throughout the service for any person wishing to learn about the subject in more detail whether as an interested individual reader or a criminologist … We found the book very easy to read and most thought-provoking.’– Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers.


Mo Smith FCiPN, Registered Member MBACP (Snr Accred), Cert Ed, Dip Coun, Dip Sup, Dip CBT, Dip Ber has 20 years’ experience organizing, driving and running a prison counselling service. Toni Close, MSC Occupational Psychology, BSC Psychology, PGCE (Further Education) helped Mo to write it.

Additional information

Weight165 g
Dimensions204 × 134 × 9 mm


Waterside Press




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Place of origin

United Kingdom

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