On the 4th of April, KS3 and KS4 students were visited by Graham Chapman and Anthony Powell from the Prison Me No Way project. Prison Me No-Way is a national educational charity with a core aim of raising awareness among young people about the causes, consequences and penalties of crime. The project, set up in 1993 by prison officers, aims to make an impact on the lives of young people and turn them away from crime and its consequences using highly innovative educational techniques.
The students also received a visit from ex prisoner Anthony Powell, who gave a thought-provoking full and honest account of his lifestyle choices which led to his imprisonment. He also spoke in detail about the effects this had on him, his family and his future and the moment which called for change. There was no glorifying of crime throughout Anthony’s story. Throughout the session, pupils were gripped by the intense real life story of an ex criminal who has now dedicated himself to telling his story so that his mistakes aren’t repeated.
Unable to visit a prison ourselves, the project brought the prison to us. A replica cell adapted to fit inside a van created a physical presentation of inmate’s living conditions. The students also received an in-depth presentation delivered by Youth offending worker Graham Chapman, about prison life where he discussed all aspects such as food, identity, allowances and crime.
The students gained an invaluable experience with the visitors and were able to gain insight into the reality of a life of crime from a first-hand perspective. Through the awareness gained, I am sure our students will carry this knowledge with them throughout their lives.