Prisoners tell town youngsters not to choose the wrong path

Pupils at High Tunstall find out about keeping on the right path.

Pupils at High Tunstall find out about keeping on the right path.

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Hartlepool students have been learning first hand about the perils of chosing the wrong path in life.

As part of a charity organisation low risk prisoners went along to High Tunstall College of Science in the town to urge students not to make the mistakes they had.

Our students always fully embrace the day

Mark Tilling

The national educational group, Prison Me! No Way! has the core aim of raising awareness among young people about the causes, consequences and penalties of crime.

A group of offenders, along with prison officers, spent time with the young people giving them an insight into what prison is really like.

Mark Tilling, headteacher at High Tunstall College of Science, said they have taken part in the project several times and the students always gain a lot from it.

He said: “Every year High Tunstall teams up with the national educational charity ‘Prison Me No Way’ to organise a day-long event for our Year 9 students.

“The purpose of the day is to help ensure that students make the right choices in life both now and when they grow older.

“The prisoners are all low risk and approaching release and are accompanied by prison warders.

“The day presents an opportunity for prisoners to tell their story to students about where they went wrong and the mistakes they made which others can learn from.

“The day comprised of a number of interactive sessions including presentations, a street-crime scene and a question and answer session covering issues ranging from anti-social behaviour and online abuse to drugs and alcohol.

“Our students always fully embrace the day. It gives them a really good understanding of issues they potentially could face in their lives and advice on the right path to take.”

Set up as a project by prison officers in 1993, Prison Me! No Way! has reached more than 5million young people through the hard work and sheer determination of its volunteers, staff and trustees.

It is aimed at eight to 18-year-olds from all walks of life.