First Night Packs
The first night in prison is a daunting experience for anyone, but especially so for young people being taken into custody. In combining art with music, we worked with the young people and staff to produce readable and engaging information packs for young people entering the unit for the first time.
These colourful packs go far beyond the usual photocopied information sheets provided to prisoners. Not only do they answer all the questions that might be playing on the minds of the young people, but they also include advice from young people currently inside in the form of original songs and spoken word pieces, as well as their own artwork and text.
“The young people became a lot more respectful to each other by the end of the week.” – Member of prison staff, HMYOI Werrington
Eight young women from the Rivendell Unit, HMPYOI New Hall and eight young men at HMYOI Werrington were involved in the creation of each pack, working together as a group for 5 days with the Music in Prisons project team and artist Lizzie Coombes. The first few days in prison are known to be a particularly vulnerable time for young people and these packs proved helpful for both young people and prison staff.