Prison Me! No Way!

Prison Me! No Way!

On Friday 20 May, Years 9 and 10 played host to a team of volunteers from the ‘Prison Me, No Way’ national charity as part of a Crime and Safety Awareness Day.

Originally set up by prison officers to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of becoming involved in antisocial or criminal behaviour, the charity has evolved to include a focus on safety awareness, including the dangers of on-line exploitation, inappropriate social networking behaviour, radicalisation and personal safety.

The programme was delivered by qualified and experienced professionals through a number of hard-hitting, factual and engaging presentations, workshops, dramas and role playing activities, which encouraged the senior pupils to make positive decisions and stay safe.

Pupils attended a number of sessions organised throughout the day:

Prison – delivered by a long-serving prison officer, this session covered the realities of prison life and the general impact of the loss of freedom of choice. Pupils were given the chance to visit a life size replica and fully furnished prison cell to get a real feel for an inmates’ living conditions.

Street – through a role playing activity on ‘Confrontation Street’ pupils looked specifically at the impact of anti-social behaviour.

Respect – this session looked at the differences between culture and religion. Following a short film, pupils discussed the signs and dangers of radicalisation and extremism.

Choices – pupils met with three prisoners, who were currently serving a custodial sentence, to talk about the bleakness and reality of life inside a prison. Pupils heard a first-hand account of being locked in a prison cell, the lack of freedom and the impact a prison sentence can have on family and friends. The female prisoners spoke candidly and honestly about their life behind bars and how their actions had affected the people they loved.

Fire Service – this examined the consequences of property fires, personal safety and the consequences and impact of hoax calls to the fire service.

Magistrates – this gave an insight into the judicial system with a look at the role of the Magistrates court. Pupils were given a script and allocated roles to act out a typical scene in a court case to provide an understanding of the function of the court and the legal processes and procedures that are involved in a hearing.

CEOP – Child Exploitation On-Line Protection – this session examined on-line safety and child protection; spotting the signs of grooming, controlling relationships and inappropriate behaviour. Pupils were given advice on the responsible use of social media and networking sites and provided with information about organisations that will help to ensure they stay safe.