In April 2019, Mobilong Prison in Australia became the second prison in Australia to introduce parkrun. After a 15-month pause, the event recently returned to further strengthen the sense of belonging with the prison community.
It accommodates up to 470 male medium and low-security prisoners who, as well as being engaged with services and programs to assist with their rehabilitation and reintegration, work in a variety of industries. The prison has a metal fabrication workshop, electrical component assembly, plastic component assembly, a kitchen, a bakery, and packages firewood and kindling.
The prison also provides for up to 16 greyhounds that are trained by inmates for re-integration as domestic pets through the SA Greyhounds Adoption Program.
After 45 parkrun events, COVID-19 restrictions forced Mobilong parkrun into a 15-month pause. However, inmates continued to run informally and the event was successfully re-established in July 2021 thanks to a collaboration between Correctional Services Officers, the prison health service, and the inmates who form the core team.
The SA Prison Health Service is also providing fruit platters, drinks and muesli bars in the prison kitchen to be served to participants after the event, which helps to build rapport between inmates, officers and staff.
Whatever side of the prison walls you are on, parkrun is all about participation, experiencing a sense of belonging and being part of something larger than yourself. The enthusiasm shown by the inmates at Mobilong shows that it won’t be long until our event is bigger and better than ever.
Dr Chad Brunner
Mobilong Prison GP
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