Throughout the summer holidays we added an additional session, at The Vibe Centre in Dursley, each Thursday called Great Expectations. This is a program supported by the Gloucester PCC and is currently the only one operating in the country.
I am one of the facilitators of their Tier 3 programme targeting young people who demonstrate challenging behaviour or attitudes or those at risk of going down ‘the wrong path’. Over five weeks myself, five Category D prison mentors and a police officer from the Great Expectations team delivered five, two hour group sessions. Within these sessions we explored the following;
- Identifing different types of crimes and length of sentence
- Peer pressure and joint enterprise
- Offensive weapons and anger awareness
- Substance misuse
- Team building
To conclude each session one of the prison mentors shares their story explaining how they got involved in crime, the ripple effect their involvement of crime had and is having on friends, family and the wider community. Part of their story also includes the realities of prison life and how hard it is.
We successfully completed this program throughout August 2016 and it was attended by 19 young people aged 13-17.
James H (Community Youthworker for Dursley)