New Grant from September 2014 Meeting
Grant Amount £10,000 for 1 year

KeepOut is the first ever crime diversion scheme to be delivered by dedicated teams of serving prisoners – managed by civilian staff and seconded prison staff – inside UK prisons.

Prisoners are trained by KeepOut to run intervention programmes for young people that inform, support and divert those between 13 and 17 who are either at risk of entering the criminal justice system or are already involved in criminal activity. They will already be known to police, youth offending teams and other specialist services for young people. They currently operate within HMP Coldingley and HMP Send in Surrey, HMP Lewes in Sussex, and HMP Brixton in south London.

KeepOut has two main objectives; the prevention of crime amongst young people and the rehabilitation of offenders.

A percentage of young people are referred to KeepOut as a last step measure before a custodial sentence is enforced. For the young people attending KeepOut, the workshops demonstrate the harsh reality of prison life, and prisoners give a detailed account of how they ended up inside. Young people take part in a range of interactive and creative exercises, and group discussions aimed at helping them to choose a life without crime. The aim of the workshops is to show young people the reality of crime and the real consequences for them, their families and the victims.

KeepOut provides a full-time work based location for to up to seven Coldingley prisoners at any one time. In addition, the scheme enables other prisoners to work as volunteers on the one-day intervention events. Core training is designed to equip the prisoner team with the skills and competencies necessary to work with very challenging young people in a safe and professional manner.