In 2016, we launched Don't Get Court, a successful project that helps prevent young people caught up in crime and gang culture Working with young people aged 14 -18 to show how crime and a criminal record affects everyone the perpetrators and victims lives and the lives of all of the families involved are reflected from arrest through to being charged in court. The project has a drama element and enables an exchange of ideas between partners and young people. The project will also be video streamed into local schools giving the school children the opportunity to understand the court process and will feature various cases that are suitable to the year groups watching.
Part of the programme has a unique immersive drama element over three days.
• Day one is a trip to a custody suite so that participants can experience what it's like to be fingerprinted and locked in a cell.
• Day two is an immersive drama workshop in a mock courtroom situation with role play and a real court case with participants playing the roles of the perpetrator, the victims, the jury and the police. A real judge, barristers and police officers take part too to add authenticity.
• Day three is a reflection on the issues of being a convicted criminal; issues including not being able to get employment, not being able to travel to certain countries, loss of contact with family and friends and restrictions on certain of life's pathways.
We also took police officers, social workers, youth workers, the Chair of Governors and the Principal of a local college to witness first-hand the work that Keep Out does a project at HMP Send in Woking that helps young people when they get sentenced to prison through education workshops and support.
Don't Get Court is an ongoing project and we are currently working on a documentary with young people and a videographer who has worked on some very big TV shows, to create a discussion piece for schools and colleges.