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Doncaster Features: BBC2 Challenges Doncaster

Bafta-winning Century Films (Feltham Sings C4) and the BBC are undertaking a unique television experiment to tackle the problem of youth crime. And they are looking for a Doncaster resident.

Youth crime has reached epidemic proportions. But locking up young people is not working. Each persistent offender costs us £164,000 a year in unpaid taxes, police costs, and the expense of locking them up. And most of them will re-offend when they get out! 77% of under 21’s on short-term prison sentences will be back inside within two years.

The system is obviously not working, So what’s the answer? This new BBC series challenges the public to come up with their own solutions.

We will be selecting six people who think they can make a difference by ‘mentoring’ a young offender who has just left prison. Together, they will design and implement a programme to steer the former offender back on the straight and narrow.

This BBC project has been inspired by ‘Mentoring’ schemes across the country. This month The Home Office is piloting a scheme in which up to 2,000 young offenders will be offered mentoring as a radical alternative to jail. People from all walks of life are getting involved – from nuns to nightclub bouncers - more and more members of the public who have never volunteered for anything before are turning young people’s lives around.



Do you, or a Doncaster resident you know or work with, want to get involved?

You won’t have had any previous experience working with offenders, but you will have strong views on what young people need to keep them out of trouble.

Over three months our production staff will chart the ups and downs of the relationship. There will be a team of experts on hand to help and support both the mentor and the ex-offender.

Readers who are interested can call Lana Salah at Century Films on
0800 0839918 or email mentors@bbc.co.uk
please leave a contact number.


Youth Crime Statistics

77% of young offenders are reconvicted within two years of leaving custody; 15% within 3 months. (Home Office)

It costs £37,000 to lock up one young offender for 12 months. (Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Report).



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