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Music programme helps young people get back on track after prison

Music programme helps young people get back on track after prison



The charity HDMT Music is set to publish findings from its music and resettlement project, One Spirit, which has reached 177 young people from three prisons over the past 12 months.

One Spirit is now in its tenth year of work across HMYOI Feltham, HMYOI Cookham Wood and HMP Highdown. The project uses a framework of music, creative and arts activities to support personal wellbeing and develop a range of skills.

It includes week-long intensive residency courses, with follow up one-to-one mentoring sessions that start in custody and continue through the gate to when a young person has been released back in to the community.

It made me feel more confident because I was working with other young people and it made me confident because of help from staff.”
Participant HMYOI Cookham Wood

Participant feedback shows that after taking part in One Spirit: 92% said they felt more confident; 92% felt better about the future; 63% felt more able to manage anger/frustration and 58% felt more motivated.

The through the gate programme has helped 37 young men make and record music, search for jobs, prepare for interviews or access business advice. An external evaluation of the project carried out by Dr Anthony Gunter (UEL) has suggested that the reoffending rate of these participants is only 10% (compared to a national average of 68% for children), with 58% in employment and 29% in further education or training.

HMDT Music will continue to work in all three prisons in 2019 and aims to meet a rising demand for its work across the estate. The charity also hopes to develop a programme for prisoners accessing Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) in order to create more consistency between custody and community.

The full evaluation results will be published soon.

Find out more here


Image: (CC0 1.0)