Chess in Prisons

The ECF runs a programme of support for chess in prisons, with visits from Carl Portman to a number of prisons across the country. Carl provides valuable support to prison communities, where it is recognised as providing purposeful activity for inmates, supporting the development of critical analysis and reasoning skills and helping to reduce reoffending rates.

Carl says — ‘This is an open document. I have no editor, no contract with a publisher and I will make not a single penny. I am wholly responsible for the content, including any mistakes or omissions. It is a free resource and the intention is to share with the world the benefits of chess in prisons, as shown by the testimony of the prisoners themselves. It is a good news story. Please feel free to share this but please do credit me as the author.
I am very happy to receive feedback via

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This video, courtesy of the BBC, was filmed during a recent visit to HMP Hewell in the West Midlands in June.


Here is a report on Carl’s visit to HMP Dartmoor – – and a post about the Chess for Freedom conference, where Carl featured –

Carl Portman Email | Profile [PDF]