‘I would rather be dead than go through it again’ - youth offender

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‘I would have rather been dead than go through that again’, according to a young person convicted of a crime in West Sussex.

Animated video logs have been made to help young people understand why they are in trouble, what needs to change so they do not get into trouble again, and help them to put things right with those affected by crime.

They were produced by the young peoples’ blog, Your Space, and West Sussex County Council’s Youth Offending Service which works with young people aged between ten and 17 to prevent and reduce youth crime.

The current vlogs look at first offences, the experience of being arrested, being in a cell, in court and being sentenced, and reparation.

In one of the vlogs, a young person describes the experience of being in a police cell before an intimidating experience of being questioned by the police and finally appearing in court.

He said: “Being in court, that’s the hardest thing - they were asking all these questions.

“You would think you had already been through enough emotional up and down but when your family is in the court with you and you then look over your shoulder to see how your parents are reacting...I’ll be honest, I would have rather been dead than go through that again.

“I had never seen my dad cry until that day and that will scar me for the rest of my life. I felt bad because I had to put my parents through that. That day I have to say is one of the most hectic days of my life.”

The vlogs provide first-hand information about what it was like facing up to the consequences of a crime.

Stephen Hillier, WSCC’s cabinet member for children – start of life, said: “By bravely talking about what happened to them and how they felt, these young offenders are playing a vital role in the future of West Sussex by offering their time to prevent others from making the same mistakes.

“I hope that young people will watch these vlogs and consider the paths that they take. They show remorse and regret for their crimes which hopefully will make others think twice.”

The series will continue with more vlogs being added in the future.

To view the vlogs visit www.yourspacewestsussex.me/portfolio/youth-offending-service, or to contact the Youth Offending Team email youthoffendingteam@westsussex.gov.uk

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