Highlighting the Clash of Cultures

PRISON SLANG: What does the term piece mean in prison slang? Just the other day a recently released friend of mine related how, when sitting in a church service, he had heard the speaker encourage everyone present to, “pass the peace”. He was laughing as he told me this story because, in his past, whenever anyone said to him to “pass the piece” it was time to hand over the gun, usually in the context of a robbery. What a classic example of one person’s journey between extreme subcultures – prison and the church – each with its own language and rituals. So, for those of you who do not have an understanding of “church slang”, to pass the peace is an invitation to greet others.

Dichtomyhm, By An Inmate At Edinborough Prison

BACKGROUND ARTWORK: From the Koestler Trust – http://www.koestlertrust.org.uk/


There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that offenders who have taken part successfully in the arts while in prison fully intend to carry on when they are released, but in practice fail to do so. Like many other positive habits and plans made in custody, arts activity often gets lost in the difficult transition back into life on the outside.

To address this issue we have trained a group of professional artists as mentors, then matched them to prisoners who have won Koestler awards and are due for release. To read more go to: http://www.koestlertrust.org.uk/

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