Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community

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Safe Ground win the 2017 Longford Prize

Arts education charity ‘Safe Ground’ is awarded The Longford Prize “humanity, courage, persistence and originality”.

Safe Ground is a small team with a national reach, working in secure training centres, young offenders institutions, social emotional and mental health schools, and high security and open prisons. Executive Director Charlie Weinberg says the prize “is a tribute to the work of thousands of people over 21 years and it’s an honour to receive it on their behalf”.

The Longford Trust has acknowledged the success of the Man Up and Fathers Inside programmes in particular. Using active learning techniques Man Up supports participants to explore ways in which often conflicting concepts of masculinity contribute to shaping individual identity. The programme has been delivered in eleven prisons across England and Wales and in a number of community settings. The drama based methodology is valued widely by participants. As one participant at HMPYOI Wetherby said, “it helped me and others express ourselves and come out of our shell.”

Fathers Inside, our flagship parenting programme, proves that our methodology works. Justice Data Lab found that participants are 16 percentage points less likely to reoffend than their counterparts who did not take the programme. Former Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service, saw the potential of the programme to “raise the profile of parenting education, and to motivate prisoners to address offending behaviour and return to their families as better dads”.

Safe Ground is proud to be given the opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of the team throughout the year.

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