THE CASE FOR THE ARTS in the process of DESISTANCE FROM CRIME

THE FACTS
  • 42% of prisoners have been expelled/excluded from school
  • 47% without a single qualification
  • 52% have dyslexia
  • 50% cannot write
  • 65% have a reading age of less than 8

Prisoners are largely people with negative experiences of learning. Classrooms are associated with failure and humiliation making them environments to which they are not eager t o return.

Educationalists have identified the essential blocks to learning:
low self-esteem, differing learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), low aspirations, fear etc. These are widespread among prisoners and the arts naturally address all of them.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ADDRESSING OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR

The provision of employment, housing and education upon release are inadequate in preventing re-offending if the dysfunctions and deficits in the psychological make up of offenders have not been sufficiently addressed.

Three of the most vital elements to the rehabilitation process are:
Confronting prisoners with the full picture and human impact of what they have done
Challenging their justifications for and attitudes to what they have done – raising victim awareness
Changing their behavioural responses so they can sustain more productive and crime free lives

THE ROLE OF ART PROJECTS

The arts help prisoners by having immediate and potentially permanent positive outcomes that contribute to their process of desistance from crime:

  • Raised self-esteem
  • Improved emotional literacy due to self-expression
  • Improved self-awareness and communications skills
  • Personal and social development
  • Improved sense of self-efficacy through acquirement of many new transferable skills
  • Revelation of new pathways forward that were formerly unknown
THE EVIDENCE

In recent research “Unlocking the Value” (New Philanthropy Capital, 2011) it was found that arts projects can halve the expected rate of re-offending.

To learn more about how the arts can address criminal behaviour and help prevent re-offending I offer:
All the above can be tailored to client requirements Please contact Angela to discuss options
Read my monthly blogs - relating to Criminal Justice, Germany’s and Britain’s differing cultures of World War 2 Remembrance, and art as a tool for change