Ever wondered what it would be like to go to prison?

Ever wondered what it would be like to go to prison?

Our year 9 students had a valuable insight into what it would be like to go to prison, the penalties and consequences that would affect them for the rest of their life and most importantly, how not to make the wrong choices by focusing on crime prevention.

Prison Me No Way is a national education programme, which been running in schools for over 25 years and has become a regular feature at Spalding Academy.

They provided a full day of engaging workshops and activities, which are led by retired Prison Officers, Youth Engagement Officers, ex-offenders and volunteers from charities and other organisations. All of these people were able to pass on their first-hand experiences and real-life knowledge so students know exactly what it is like.

This day plays an important part in our school PSHE programme covering personal, social, health and economic issues to educate and inform students so they make the right choices and become responsible citizens.

The reason why we deliver the event for year 9 students is that children aged 13 to 14 are more vulnerable due to using social media, they start to become more independent and can be influenced by their peers, brands and money.

Workshops covered include a variety of current topics such as gangs and knife crime, drugs and county lines, alcohol awareness, electric safety and domestic abuse. Understanding the early signs to look out for and the implications of their actions mean that students are better informed so they are not led down the wrong path or make bad decisions.

Online protection was covered so students know what not to do online, what is illegal and how they should protect themselves from exploitation on different social media platforms.

The Prison Me No Way roadshow includes bringing a realistic prison cell to the school, in a specially modified van that students can see the conditions that inmates in a shared cell have to live in. It was certainly eye-opening to see how small the bunk beds are and the lack of privacy with the toilet next to the table where you would be eating.

Throughout the day, students were able to ask thought provoking questions and were incredibly engaging.

At the end of the day, this is what our Year 9 students said:

  • Ruby thought the event has shown how different prison is than how television presents it. It is very challenging and very different than the real world.
  • Samuel commented that it gave us a deep thought on what not to do and you should respect what’s happening around you.
  • Charley was surprised to learn that drug dealers and gangs use children aged 12 to 15 years to take drugs to drug users.
  • Dawid said the day felt relevant to people of our age and shown a real view of what life is like in prison.
  • Tilly was definitely put off prison as she thought the conditions were horrible, cramped, smelly and disgusting.
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