Educational Charity Team Up With School To Teach Students About Crime

An educational charity has teamed up with a North Yorkshire secondary school to teach students about the causes and consequences of crime.

Members of the national crime education charity, Prison Me! No Way! spent the day with year 9 students from Outwood Academy Ripon, based on Clotherholme Road. 

The core aim of the charity is to raise awareness among young people of the causes, consequences and penalties of crime. To help do this, the students were taken through a busy day of crime safety education, with interactive workshops.

Gemma Trattles, Principal of Outwood Academy Ripon, said: “We were thrilled to welcome the Prison Me! No way! team to Outwood Academy Ripon. 

“We have worked with the Prison Me! No way! team before, and we always have such positive feedback from the students and parents afterwards, and this time was no exception.

“They really keep the students engaged throughout the day by making sure they are included in the workshops and by making it fun, as well as educational.”

The charity, which was set up by prison officers in 1993, has designed programmes to help children from all walks of life and background.

As part of the crime and safety awareness day, the students took part in eight activities and were able learn factually about the possible consequences of becoming involved in antisocial or criminal behaviour.

They were also given a tour of a fully furnished replica prison cell which is built into the back of a specially designed van. The cell was equipped with two bunks, a small desk, sink and toilet.

One of the activities, ‘Manny’s Story’, gave the students a detailed history of how the life of a former prisoner, Manny, had been dictated by the choices he made which culminated in him being imprisoned.

Manny explained to the students that he had grown up in a well-respected family but had made choices which saw him spending time in gangs. He would consequently fall further into trouble, through bad decisions, and was imprisoned for over 10 years after being found guilty of a gun-related crime.

Mrs Trattles added: “Hearing Manny’s story was very powerful as he could have been anyone of our students, growing up in a family that supports, encourages and sets boundaries at home and through poor choices ending up in prison.

“It is great that since being released he has worked for the PMNW charity, speaking of his life and experiences, with aim to educate other young people to not go down the route he did.”

Prison Me! No Way! was started by three prison officers who wanted to do something to prevent young people becoming involved in crime and being locked up. 

Pat Tuohy, Training Manager at Prison Me! No Way!, said: “It was a pleasure to work with year 9 students at a recent Crime and Safety Awareness day held at Outwood Academy Ripon.

“The main message running throughout the day is it’s “Your Choice”, and at no point during any part of the day is a pupil told what to do with their lives.  Instead we point out that the choices they make at a young age could well determine the paths they take in the future.”