HAMMERING HOME THE MESSAGE - CPOs ARE MORE EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING RE-OFFENDING THAN
SHORT-TERM PRISON SENTENCES
BY TOM JACKSON, Head of Community Justice
Commissioned by Community Justice Glasgow, and produced by Street Cones our short film ‘Something to Lose’ follows the fictional journey of a young man on a Community Payback Order ‘CPO’ and the impact it has on his life (as an alternative to a short term prison sentence).
The film also interviews the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, Justice Professionals and individuals issued with CPOs.
In line with both Community Justice Glasgow’s and Street Cone’s commitment to including the voice of lived experience in our work, the lead actor JAMES GREIG, has previously spent time on a CPO.
The film explores some of the key drivers and elements of a Community Justice approach and its benefits to individuals, society and the public purse – using the right justice tools to get the right outcomes. This approach is set against a context of:
- Scotland as the Country with the highest prison population in the Western Europe (per head of population at January 2019).
- The introduction of the Presumption Against short term sentences of 3 months or less in 2011, extended to 12 months or less in 2019.
- Reconviction levels following the completion of a short-term prison sentence compared to completion of a Community Sentence.
Treating the causes (underlying issues, trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences) vs treating the symptoms (further offending) – earlier intervention.
“On the reducing re-offending side, Community Payback Orders are absolutely fundamental. We know – data; evidence; the figures; the numbers tell us CPOs are much more effective in reducing re-offending.
CPOs are so fundamental to a better Justice Policy because what they do is they ultimately reduce re-offending – I CAN’T HAMMER THAT HOME ENOUGH – they are more effective than a short prison sentence.”
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary for Justice
The Something to Lose was launched live online with a live panel answering questions about Community Justice. More than 700 people joined the live launch and Q&A. The event was recorded and you too can watch.
CLICK THE PICTURE TO VIEW THE RECORDING OF THE LIVE LAUNCH
Meet the Artist
James Greig is many things. He is a father, an actor, someone who has been through the justice system. He is someone with something to offer.
James recently stared as “Tam” in the short film Something to Lose, the fictional account of a young man on a Community Payback Order (CPO) and the impact it has on his life and those around him. Written by Mark MacNicol and directed by Adam Robertson, the film also interviews justice professionals and individuals on CPOs.
The work is by the charity Street Cones, and choosing James to take the lead role reflected on the charity’s commitment to lived experience; James having previously spent time on a CPO. Those who have seen the film also recognise James gave a powerful performance.
As well as starring in the film, James participated in the live launch of the film and a Q&A to follow. But, beyond his commitment to inspire others who are on the journey he faced, James is an actor with a growing portfolio and aspirations.
James’ first experience of acting was as an extra in a few productions going back a number of years. He went on to audition for college, but thought is “wasn’t for me”. It was later, having spent time on remand, that he re-examined acting and recognised it was a “place of comfort.” It was also an opportunity to show his daughter what he is capable of.
Speaking of inspirational actors, James is drawn towards those who epitomise method acting, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hardy, Robert De Niro. With current ambitions to secure roles on BBC productions, James also harbours a secret wish to secure a role on a major film, perhaps a supervillain.
James hopes that others will explore the arts, and acting in particular:
“Everyone should have a chance to see a different life. If you are stuck in the system, there is a way out if you look for it – acting has been mine and it could be for others. Give it a wee chance!”