STORIES FROM THE INSIDE is a documentary about a group of young inmates at a maximum-security prison in Melbourne.
Made in conjunction with the award winning team at Shark Island Productions, together with the charitable organisation Igniting Change, this is a documentary made possible by unprecedented access, filmed, edited and directed by the prisoners inside the Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison.
All of the inmates are first time offenders aged between 18 and 25. A group of them have been highly motivated to tell their stories, and collectively have been given a voice through the film. They reveal the crimes that led them to being incarcerated, how easily they found themselves in prison, the bad choices and mistakes they made along the way, the effects of their actions on themselves, their families and their victims. They discuss the harsh reality of prison life, the daily grind, the boredom, the depression, and their fears of rejection when they return to the outside world. Made primarily for secondary school students, STORIES FROM THE INSIDE is a confronting and hard-hitting documentary. The young prisoners have been driven to tell their stories with the aim of stopping other young people from making the same mistakes.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
The film raises awareness of a social need for education and support of young people in the prison system. The young prisoners have been driven to tell their stories with the aim of stopping other young people from making the same mistakes. This film has the potential through peer to peer learning to influence the thinking and actions of youth, to improve community wellbeing.
The documentary is available to all secondary schools in Australia, streaming directly into the classroom via the films interactive web site. A comprehensive teachers resource and study guide for schools, together with a 10-minute film about the innovative Youth Unit at the prison accompany the film.
The educational resources around this project we hope will build the capacity of young people to consider action and consequence, and increase resilience to peer pressure. The film could also be used as an early intervention measure addressing disadvantage which can be leveraged across community groups working with youth at risk.
To date the curriculum resource is downloadable from the film site, and in September 2015 we will launch a VCAL Teaching Resource for the film to mapped to those students undertaking vocational studies.
In order to most effectively reach our target audience, of young people, it is vital to work with organisations that are in the youth, legal and education sectors. They are the experts in working with young people and they are the access point to them. In order to reach youth workers and educators we are working with the peak bodies across these sectors to promote and educate them about the film and how to best use it. Outreach funds raised in 2015 and beyond go towards this goal, and the support of a part-time Impact Producer role.
DVD sales are made through the inmates business Doin' Time and the proceeds are then passed on to a charity of their choice.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
A current Impact Activity Statement can be made available. Since the launch of STORIES FROM THE INSIDE in November 2014, approximately 500 schools, youth organisations, government bodies, TAFEs, and legal organisations have accessed the film.
In order to most effectively reach our target audience, of young people, it is vital to work with organisations that are in the youth, legal and education sectors. They are the experts in working with young people and they are the access point to them. In order to reach youth workers and educators we are working with the peak bodies across these sectors to promote and educate them about the film and how to best use it.
The immediate outcome we are hoping for is uptake and use of the resource in secondary schools nationwide.
We hope to reignite a discussion around the issue of youth imprisonment and highlight the lost potential in young people being pulled into the prison system, especially those who do not have access to support and education programs.
Long term impact may include: State Government implementation of Youth Units across prison systems, reduced recidivism in first time offenders, corporate support of return to work programs for people who have been in prison, reduced social backlash/bias toward prisoners returning to the community.
The online film: streamed from the website requires a teacher login, we will be able to track use through teacher email, and follow up content use in the classroom.
In late 2013 with the publishing of the Report, media and reach will be monitored. We hope that longterm the report into youth imprisonment may see a shift in social policy regarding first time offenders, and ensure that while justice is done, the young people are not affected for the rest of their lives with the stigma of having been imprisoned.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
STORIES FROM THE INSIDE follows the success of THE OASIS, WALL BOY and POLLY AND ME, films made to make a difference. Shark Island Productions brings its model from these previous films to the Education and Outreach strategy for STORIES FROM THE INSIDE.
The Film: Donation of film and study guide to secondary schools nationwide. Launch of the film and education resource in Sydney and Melbourne with a 'celebrity' in order to garner media coverage and raise awareness of the resource. Ownership of the film still sits very much with the inmates of the Youth Unit and they will sell DVD's through their website "Doin' Time", proceeds donated to charity.
The Report: To be launched late 2013, the report is an investigative document into the experience of imprisonment for young people in Australia now. It explores the experience in prison, on release and the case for change for first time offenders, it offers a suggestion for a new model, supported with facts and figures from prison systems across the nation.