Funding has been pulled from a long-running charity programme to deter children from crime despite its success, with the Government now setting up its own scheme to launch in 2022.
'Prison! Me! No Way!!!' operated in the island as an independent charity from July 2005 until the end of 2019.
The aim of the programme was to "raise the awareness of young people in the island about the causes, consequences and penalties of crime, by using a non threatening and non lecturing style of education".
The news of the programme’s suspension had not been formally announced by the government, and was revealed by the Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Gregory Guida, following queries from Deputy Mary Le Hegarat during yesterday’s States Assembly sitting.
Video: Prison! Me! No Way!!! was introduced in the island as an independent charity in July 2005.
The Minister said Prison! Me! No Way!!! was not currently being delivered as it had been suspended pending review at the end of 2019, before the pandemic started.
“Both Home Affairs and CYPES (Children, Young People, Education and Skills) are working on plans to deliver a new programme to meet the needs of the island’s young people as part of their 2022 business plan,” Deputy Guida added.
“We are now looking for a business analyst to scope the new scheme in partnership with CYPES with the view to have it up and running by September 2022.
“In the meantime, the States of Jersey Police Community Policing Team continue to actively work with children and young people to provide support and advice around preventing offending and antisocial behaviour.”
Pictured: Deputy Guida, the Home Affairs Minister, said he hoped the new scheme would be up and running by the end of 2022.
When Senator Kristina Moore questioned what had been the rationale behind the decision to suspend the programme, Deputy Guida said there not any specific concerns about the delivery of the programme, but added his department and CYPES were looking “at a more efficient system”.
When pressed to say what preventative programmes were currently in operation to prevent young people from offending, the Minister said he couldn’t remember their names instead referring to various “operations”.
“There are always programmes in action and certainly the Police has had very specific programmes in the last three years, two of them were actually operations which were very similar and again the Community Policing Team is still actively at work,” he said.
He added: “The name of one of them escapes me right now but I certainly remember ‘Operation Porter’, which was an extremely targeted operation which did happen with the help of schools. It was something that was at the same time to prevent offending but also in the same vein as what Prison! Me! No Way!!! was delivering.”
He denied that ‘stop and searches’ of young people, which Deputy Kirsten pointed out had been increasing, were part of those programmes.
The Minister also couldn’t confirm what savings his department had made as a result of the programme’s suspension. He said he didn’t know the actual budget for Prison! Me! No Way!!! as the Home Affairs didn’t entirely finance the project, but rather helped the charity.
The Minister said he hoped a replacement for the programme could be found and be operational before the end of 2022 and promised it would involve schools and other services such as the Fire Service, the Ambulance Service and others.
He said: “First of all, we have no reason to think that Prison! Me! No Way!!! wasn’t successful - I think it delivered what it was supposed to do and certainly whatever replaces it does have to happen in school and with the help of the services of Home Affairs.”
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