Have you ever wondered what its like to be in prison?
Maybe you think it’s just a ‘holiday camp’, and too soft? Or perhaps you think the system needs to do more to help people stop re-offending?
Now visitors to the Millgate Shopping Parade in Bury will get a unique opportunity to experience contemporary imprisonment first hand by giving you the chance to find out from those who know.
In association with the Bury Met and developed by Rideout, Go To Jail is a replica cell built to government regulations, housing two prisoners. Choose to observe the prisoners through the barred window, or enter the cell to chat – ask questions about their lives, their sentences, and how prison affects them. Although the two ‘prisoners’ are performers, both are former inmates who have served in Her Majesty’s prisons,
Before leaving, log your views on the prisoners’ sentences using a touch-screen console and set what privileges you believe the prisoners should be entitled to in their cells; these could include such ‘comforts’ as a guitar, newspapers, or a television. The cell will be equipped with CCTV cameras and a microphone so all interactions can be viewed live on the internet.
Rideout’s Saul Hewish, who co-developed the project said: ‘Unless you’ve actually ‘served time at Her Majesty’s pleasure’ it’s hard to imagine what life is really like for those incarcerated in our over-crowded prisons. Go To Jail allows people to see the reality, and hear real stories from those who’ve served sentences.’
Offering different perspectives on life inside, two female prisoners will be ‘interned’ first (19-23 May), followed by two male prisoners (24-28 May).
Presented by The Met in association with Rideout, Go To Jail is open from Thursday 19 to Saturday 28 May between 11am and 4pm at 10/12 Minden Parade, Mill Gate Shopping Centre, Bury,. Admission is free. No appointment necessary.