Young people involved in crime is a serious challenge facing our nation today. But we can forget how big a role society plays in forming this reality.
In our in our society we value money far more than we did the previous generations. It’s not that young people want more, it’s that mainstream media tells them she should have more. There’s an expectation to have the latest smartphones and gadgets, the newest tracksuits or the best designer handbags.
But, of course, most young people cannot afford to keep up.
Then there’s the media young people consume. Film and TV often put a positive spin on crime, especially drug dealing. Shows like Sons of Anarchy (the number one rated on Netflix young people) display a glamorous side to this offence.
These influences threaten to rob our children of their youth.
Young people tend to be very deluded when it comes to breaking the law. They have a mindset that they will never be caught. That their friends are doing it, so it must be OK. That they’re invincible.
It is this mind frame that we want to challenge with our Though Our Eyes programme.
Here at BreakAway we believe that serving prisoners are an invaluable asset that can help deter young people from crime. With their real first-hand experience of the criminal justice system, prisoners can shed some light on the harsh realities of crime.
Through Our Eyes aims to have young people at risk of offending visit a prison to speak openly and honestly with prisoners who have completed the BreakAway mentoring scheme.
The aim is to let the young people hear unedited accounts of what crime really has to offer and how it is very, very different from what they might see it on TV.