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The Custodial Review editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Pete Bell, the founder of the Step Out Stay Out programme within prisons. Here, Pete describes how sport turned his life around and set him on a path to help others to rehabilitate…
Pete Bell isn’t just a football coach. He is also a mentor to the inmates he works with and can empathise with them as he has spent time in prison on the other side of the cell door.
From 1990, Pete served time in the Criminal Justice System and says, “I racked up 10 convictions, I was drinking heavily and had been through a custody battle – and then my son passed away. He was two.
“What turned things around for me was when I faced my final sentence five weeks after my son died – I was expecting to get around five years in prison.
“But the judge’s humility towards me meant that he could see that sending me to prison was not right for me.”