Helen, backstage, Merlin Theatre (The Glance) 1996
Wendy McMurdo

The Changing Room, Stirling
14 July – 28 August 2004

The Arts Council of England and Youth Justice Board Form Strategic Partnership

It costs £44.5K pa to keep each individual in a Young Offenders Institution. £44K will fund an arts project from which 50 young people could benefit. Statistics from the US indicate that 69% of all offenders on parole on arts programmes did not return to prison after two years compared with 42 % for all parolees Speaking at the Arts and Youth Offending Conference, Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport voiced her belief "that the arts have an important - an irreplaceable - role to play in crime prevention and rehabilitation of young people… the arts and sport can encourage young offenders to make choices, decisions and personal statements, to have enthusiasm, to take risks and take responsibility. These skills don’t just develop creativity but can improve employability - a central factor in reducing the likelihood of re-offending."…"the poverty of opportunity and aspiration which afflicts too many young people [must be faced.]"

Provision of arts for offenders has traditionally focused on adult offenders rather than young people who are offending or at risk of offending. The Arts Council of England is currently funding research into access to and participation in arts-based activity among young offenders (specifically young people on Detention and Training Orders).

For further information see < a class="body"href="http://www.a4offenders.org.uk/"traget="display".Unit for Art and Offenders website.