Conceived in 2013 as a creative partnership between the Faculty of Arts at York St John University, HMP Askham Grange and HMP New Hall, the Project is a collaboration between education, arts and the prison service.
The Project gives prisoners an opportunity to develop, in line with their resettlement plans, creative and life skills as they approach release. York St John University theatre students experience the real-world impact of theatre in the criminal justice setting. The Prison Partnership Project gives huge mutual benefits to both students and female prisoners cutting across profound social barriers. The arts process encourages collaboration and dialogue with stories shared in order to gain a deeper understanding of self, community and justice.
The Project does not aim to address the women’s offending behaviour but moves beyond myth and stigma to inspire new perspectives and individual change. The work complements the other resettlement activities and goes towards combating recidivism.