Inspiring Change Conference

Inspiring Change
Scottish Public Health Conference

1st May 2024 – Glasgow University of Strathclyde

Runforever participated to the event with Paolo Maccagno and Stephanie Morrison who presented a paper about the activity at HMPG: Marathon running in prison suggests new paths for humanising prison care/health care –

Given the title of the conference, we felt appropriate to participate to the event in exploring new paths towards health. Thanks to our collaboration with HMPG in particular with the HMPG Recovery, Health & Well-Being Strategy Group, our sense is that we are inspiring change! 



Runforever – Marathon running in prison suggests new paths for humanising healthcare

Runforever proposes engaging in marathon running can be an educational path for improved   health and well-being in the prison setting. In February 2023, in collaboration with HMP Grampian, we started a running club as a bridge welcoming at the same time runners from inside and outside the prison to address underlying health inequalities, inequities and stigmatisation which affect the prisoner population in Scotland prison.

By suggesting a different idea of education (educere – leading out. Ingold 2018, Masschelein 2010) in prison setting and beyond, Runforever offers a new perspective on rehabilitation and a new way to engage with prisoners/people and humanise prison care/health care. Runners are empowered on paths of awareness, attention and listening, enabling them to develop improved health, self-care, self-management and health life choices.

The project combines conventional forms of evaluation and data gathering with other ways of valuing the process from the inside. Inspired by the notion of warm data (Bateson 2023), stories of running from the prisoners’ perspectives are captured through the Runningstories Radio Show and Photovoice giving voice to prisoners as runners to be peer mentors to fellow prisoners.

Building on Hannah’s (2014) perspective on health as a “result of healthy relationships, where a quality of life is held in common”, the running club is working as a microcosm where prisoners can be together in a dignified and supportive environment, providing the context in which the traumatic experiences that have contributed to their offending can be reframed. Thanks to this approach, Runforever is now in close dialogue with the recently established HMP Recovery, Health & Well-Being Strategy Group which acknowledges the impact of social determinants of health (social inequalities/inequities and adverse childhood experiences).



Bateson, N., 2023. Warm data. [Online]
Available at:

Behan, C. (2014). Learning to escape: Prison education, rehabilitation and the potential for transformation. Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 1(1), 20-31.

Costelloe, A. (2014). Learning for liberation, teaching for transformation: Can education in prison prepare prisoners for active citizenship? Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 14(1), 30-36.

Galloway S., 2021, Unseen roots and unfolding flowers? Prison learning, equality and the education of socially excluded groups. British Educational Research Journal, 47 (5), pp. 1416–1433

Gooch K. and Jewkes Y. (2019) The rehabilitative prison. An oxymoron, or an opportunity to radically reform the way we do punishment? In H. Graham F. McNeill, P. Raynor, F. Taxman, C. Trotter, P. Ugwudike (Eds) The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice. London: Routledge

Hannah M., 2014. Humanising Healthcare. Patterns of hope for a system under strain. Devon: Triarchy Press

Higgins L., 2021. Exploring the Relationship Between Education and Rehabilitation in the Prison Context. Journal of Prison Education and Reentry. 7 (2), pp. 144-159

Ingold, T., 2018. Anthropology and/as Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

Maccagno, P., 2015b. Running walls: the performance of the limit in prison. Scottish Journal of Performance, 2(2), pp. 33-59.

Maruna, S., 1997. Going straight: desistance from crime and life narratives of reform. In: A. Lieblich & J. Ruthellen, eds. The Narrative Study of Lives. London-New Delhi: Sage publications, pp. 59-93.

Masschelein, J., 2010a. The idea of critical e-educational research – e-ducating the gaze and inviting to go walking. In: I. Gur-Ze’ev, ed. The possibility/impossibility of a new critical language of education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 275-291.

Masschelein, J., 2010b. E-ducating the gaze: the idea of a poor pedagogy. Ethics and Education, 5(1), pp. 43-53.

Morrison, S. 2017. Humanising Healthcare in Maine State Prison