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Case studies

Case Studies

As part of sharing good practice, we have produced a number of case studies in collaboration with projects and organisations across the country. We focus on interesting collaborations happening between arts organisations and criminal justice organisations, exploring how they work together and the impact this has on participants and the process of rehabilitation. We also produce case studies to help organisations think practically about specific issues affecting the sector, such as diversity.

Creating Roots for well-being through art

The Creative Roots Project was an arts project funded by the Arts Council for Wales and G4S and was delivered in Parc Prison from September 2022 to May 2023. Creative Roots was delivered through a multi-skilled arts team under the performance, live art and dance organisation Mr & Mrs Clark. The Creative Roots project aimed to provide a safe space for residents of Parc Prison to take time out of their daily routine to engage in a range of activities on the prison wing. Creative Roots offered an introduction to yoga style mindfulness exercises and different ways of creating art, including printmaking, fine art and painting, and photo journalism. Everyone who took part displayed their artwork in an exhibition inside and outside the prison in May 2023.

Case study 1

The stolen generations: Offering creative writing, visual art and dance to young people in secure centres

The Stolen Generations Project delivered workshops in dance, creative writing and visual art for young people (aged 11-15) at Aycliffe Secure Centre, all informed by Indigenous Australian culture and dance practice. The project aimed to engage the young people who would not otherwise easily access the arts. It also feeds into a wider project, The Other Side of Me, led by two academics at Northumbria University: Dr Laura Fish, a writer and Assistant Professor in creative writing, and Liz Pavey, Assistant Professor in dance and performance.

Case study 2

Watts Gallery: a national gallery working in collaboration with prisons

This case study looks at the Watts Gallery’s ‘Big Issues’ project, which sees the gallery work with local community groups from in and around Surrey offering practical art, craft and design workshops led by professional artists and designers. The sessions help participants to develop confidence and learn transferable skills through creating art. Participants work towards creating finished pieces inspired by the Watts collection. Their art is then displayed in an annual exhibition in which participants are given the opportunity to sell their work.

Case Study 3

Creativity Works: a creative organisation working with local partners to develop digital studios

This case study looks at Creativity Works’ ‘Networks’ project, which consisted of establishing a creative network of activities, support and resources for women as they progress through and beyond the Criminal Justice System by developing confidence, learning new skills, empowering them to manage their own mental health and providing a resource for other women in similar circumstances and contributing to the improvement of services provided by the Criminal Justice System in Bristol.

Case Study 4

University of Sussex: using archives within the Criminal Justice System

The third case study in our series looks at the collaborative project between the University of Sussex and the Mass Observation Archives: Writing Lives. The project was inspired by a previous collaboration between Mass Observation Project Officer, Kirsty Pattrick, and Creative Arts Facilitator, Evlynn Sharp, to hold creative workshops for inmates in HMP Lewes designed around the Mass Observation Archive’s annual 12 May Diary Day.

Case Study 5

Clinks and National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance: Case Study of Clean Break

Clean Break is a women-only theatre company that delivers high-quality theatre-based courses, qualifications and specialist support for women with experience of the criminal justice system. This case study explores the impact of current policy and funding arrangements on Clean Break and gives the experiences of Frankie, a former Clean Break student. When describing the work of Clean Break, Anna Herrmann, Head of Education said “we are able to challenge, in a human way and through the story of women’s real lives, people’s perceptions of the criminal justice system.”

Image courtesy of Dance United archive