RECLAIM YOUR LIFE 2016
On the 9th June 2016, Hammer & Tong hosted a one day conference for a selected audience involved with the criminal justice system. Alongside a group of guest speakers, representing all related areas of crime prevention, we held an exhibition of our completed projects to date.
Opening the conference was Dr Julian Huppert, Cambridge University lecturer and former MP. Citing examples from Portugal and Scandinavia, Julian argues that we should treat drug addiction as a health problem rather than a criminal one to lower recidivism rates in the UK.
Later we were joined by Christopher Streeks, an actor and ex-offender who spoke about his childhood in London and how he fell into crime and drug addiction, then attended R.A.D.A. and Oxford University after leaving prison.
In addition Edward Shevlin outlined his plans for a connected network of support and mentoring to guide youngsters at risk of offending, as well as those who have been recently released from prison, to aid their re-integration into society.
A former youth offender himself, Edward was motivated to establish Hammer & Tong to give young people a second chance in life through participation in the dramatic arts, primarily film, documenting their life experiences.
In the afternoon we were joined by Celia Peachey, an actress and activist campaigning for reform around police handling of domestic abuse cases, as well as promoting relationships education into the PSHE curriculum.
She was joined by Robin Lockhart from 'Catalyst In Communities', an organisation working to bring together offenders and their victims to promote restorative justice.
Towards the end we heard talks from Dr Diahanne Rhiney ('Strength Within Me Foundation') and Min Grob ('Support Line Talk'), organisations working to promote better services for those suffering domestic abuse. To round off the day we were treated to a musical performance by Paul Springette and Dan Shevlin, two musicians who have worked on previous projects.