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Arts for young offenders

Introducing the arts to young people who have become involved with the criminal justice system.

1st July 2009 - 31st July 2010

Through showcasing different art genres young people are introduced to theatre, music, visual arts. Their interest is developed during a short programme of work and performance. After this they are encouraged to further develop this interest with the long term aim of continuing in mainstream resources in their locality.

Many of the young people with whom we work have not had the opportunity to become engaged in the arts and are denied the chance to recognise they have a talent and therefore fail to achieve their full potential. Engagement in the arts is also encouraged in order to give the young people alternative activities or interests and so help reduce the risk of them becoming further involved with the criminal justice system. The use of theatre to help increase protective factors is very effective.

  • We would like to develop the project to be multi tiered looking at the prevention aspect of saying no (perhaps through theatre and role play), introducing the arts as a career by meeting professional artists, undertaking the Bronze Arts Award as an educational achievement. Also those young people who are more entrenched in their offending behaviour may benefit from the opportunity to look at their life journey and develop strategies to change their future. 

  • By making the arts relevant to the young people with whom we work  it offers them an opportunity to experience the art form. By experiencing the art form they might become interested in pursuing it as a job or interest. By experiencing the art form and the power of another approach to life they might feel empowered to explore their behaviour and develop mechanisms to prevent them re-offending. By not offending they will have begun to improve their life chances and help make safer the communities in which they live.