Drama project helps reduce youth crime in Wales

ScottishPower Foundation, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Police Community Trust deliver session to over 1,000 young people to deter them from crime

Justice in a Day – the hard hitting drama production from Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru – delivered its final interactive session in Wrexham following a successful five week run in North Wales.

The project, which is supported by the ScottishPower Foundation was launched by Clwyd Theatr Cymru five years ago and has worked with over 3,500 young people to date.

Justice in a Day is a transformative educational workshop which aims to deter young people from committing a crime. It teaches them about the devastating effect crime can have on them, their family, their friends and their communities. The interactive sessions explore the causes and consequences of becoming involved in the criminal justice system through drama and take the students to a Magistrate Court.

This year, the project has worked with over 1,000 young people and 40 schools as well as piloting for the first time at Liverpool Community College – a testament to its success.

When ‘Justice in a Day’ started it focussed on peer pressure and underage drinking, however last year social media bullying was added reflecting current issues that affect young people. This year, the workshop covers steroid abuse due to the growing epidemic of steroid abuse amongst young people in England and Wales. Last year, Police Raids recovered 248,000 doses of anabolic steroids in England and Wales while a 2013 Home Office survey reported that an estimated 17,000 people between the ages of 16-24 use anabolic steroids.

The drama, performed by professional actors, is deliberately hard-hitting and uncompromising in its approach giving students an opportunity to reflect upon the impact committing a crime can have. The project is designed to allow young people to get involved in a frank and honest discussion in a bid to deter them from committing a crime.

During the drama workshop the students follow a character called Connor. The students then watch Connor’s life deteriorate as he commits a crime, is arrested and then imprisoned. The drama invites students to think about the consequences his crime has on his life – and the negative impact it has on his family, friends, community and victim. It aims to create a lasting impression on young people and encourage them to avoid criminal behaviour.

Justice in a Day costs £50 per participant, whereas a year spent in the Youth Offenders Institute costs around £55,000. Last year, over 87% of young people that attended the project said they felt they had an increased knowledge of the dangers of drugs, while 61% said they would be less likely to commit a crime following the performance.

Emyr John, Director of Justice in a Day, said: “"Justice in a Day is a great example of how partnerships between the arts, schools and the private sector can make a real difference to local communities using innovative ways of teaching young people about the dangers of crime."

Ann Loughrey, Trustee and Executive Officer at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to improving the lives of local communities across the UK and highlighting the importance of citizenship and youth development to children and young people.

We are delighted to sponsor a project like Justice in a Day which is engaging with students across North Wales and providing a positive impact on the lives of the young people. It challenges students to think about real-life situations and shows how destructive committing a crime can be.”

For further information please contact Kirsty MacLeod or Jen Ward at Stripe Communications on 0131 561 8768 or email spfoundation@stripecommunications.com

Notes to editors

  • Professional actors are Claire Barron, Stephen Hickman and Gwion Aled Williams
  • The ScottishPower Foundation is a registered Scottish charity (SC043862) and a company limited by guarantee (SC445116). The Foundation’s aim is to make a significant and lasting contribution to society and enhance the quality of life in local communities. It provides funding to registered charities and non-profit organisations for the following purposes: the advancement of education; the advancement of environmental protection; the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science; the prevention or relief of poverty and the relief of those in need by reason of disability or other disadvantage; the advancement of citizenship and community development.

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