Purpose

Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) was established in 1999 in order to develop innovative, arts-based approaches to working with prisoners and staff within U.K. prisons. We've retained a special emphasis on working in the Midlands where the company is based. The prisons where we've worked most extensively are HMPYOI Swinfen Hall, HMP Birmingham and HMP Dovegate, each of which have hosted a number of programmes. This prison-bound work has additionally extended to encompass national issues of prison and criminal justice reform.

Since 2014 our portfolio has diversified to also include work with non-offending populations, especially those with autistic spectrum conditions and/or mild learning disabilities who live in the Staffordshire region.

The overall aim of our work is to contribute to the growth of a safer and healthier society. This is done in a variety of ways. Our prison programmes vary from the more recreational, usually drama or film-based activities leading to performance, to programmes that analyse and challenge offending behaviour.

Our work with non-offending groups is geared more to reducing social isolation through participation in a range arts and cultural based activity. Benefits for participants, whether in prison or without, include the opportunity for creative self-expression, increases in personal confidence and self efficacy, development of new social and interpersonal skills, the creation of healthier relationships with peers, and an increased sense of personal agency.

Underlying all this work is the notion that individuals have the capacity to respond in different ways to pressures from friends, families or environment. It is our assertion that crime and/or isolation is not always an inevitable consequence of personal difficulties. Other strategies are always available. To access and understand these interventionist strategies however, often requires the participant to use imagination and to envision alternative behaviours or alternative perceptions of the self. The creative and performing arts have a particular appropriateness therefore in offering a language within which these arguments and speculations can take place.

Rideout welcomes enquiries from public, private and/or voluntary sector organisations in respect of delivery of individual projects or longer programmes of activity.

European Union Lifelong Learning Programme