A new film about preparing for court, aimed at young people with a learning disability or communication difficulty is launched today by Raising Your Game.
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Raising Your Game is a five-year project run by Mencap in partnership with I CAN and Nacro helping young people aged 14-25 with a learning disability or communication difficulty who are at risk of offending.
The film was produced after Raising Your Game received direct feedback from magistrates and professionals in East Kent that young defendants with a learning disability or communication difficulty found the court environment a daunting and confusing place. Research shows that 91% of young people in a pupil referral unit and up to 90% of those supported by Youth Offending Teams have poor communication skills.
Filmed at Stratford Magistrates Court in East London the 12 minute film aims to give young people advice on how to prepare for their first time in court and what to expect when they get there. Acted out and voiced by young people, the film includes information about preparing for court, explains court procedures and describes who is involved before and during a court appearance.
Commenting on the launch of the film Raising Your Game programme manager, Mark Perks said: “Courts are overwhelming places for most people. The language used and formality of the situation can be especially daunting for a young person with a learning disability or communication difficulty. This film will be a valuable resource for those working in the criminal justice sector and we hope it provides practical advice and support to young people who have been charged with an offence and are going to court for the first, and hopefully last, time.”
The film can be viewed at http://raisingyourgame.mencap.org.uk/getting-ready-for-court-film along with details of how organisations can embed it on their own websites.
It is also available as a DVD which can be ordered for free by emailing email@example.com.
For further information on the project visit http://raisingyourgame.mencap.org.uk/.