Offenders to run secure unit's radio

SOME of the country's most challenging young criminals will have a unique opportunity to run a radio station from their top security unit.The Carlford Unit at Warren Hill prison, near Woodbridge, is working in conjunction with Aldeburgh Productions to set up the radio station and then broadcast over a short radius.

SOME of the country's most challenging young criminals will have a unique opportunity to run a radio station from their top security unit.

The Carlford Unit at Warren Hill prison, near Woodbridge, is working in conjunction with Aldeburgh Productions to set up the radio station and then broadcast over a short radius.

Carlford houses 30 juvenile offenders aged 15 to 18 and it is one of three specialist units in the country that can hold teenagers for the equivalent of an adult life sentence.

The education team at Aldeburgh Productions has been organising arts and technology projects with juvenile offenders at Warren Hill for four years and last year a radio station was broadcast for the first time.


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The inmates have been planning, researching and preparing for this month's two-week project and putting together shows for broadcast.

They will prepare jingles, interviews, varied music shows, dedications, requests and debates and they will also spend time becoming familiar with the equipment required for the broadcast.

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Then the radio station, called Future FM, will be broadcast from August 11 to 15 from 9am to 7.30pm on 105.1FM using a restricted licence. The station will be heard over a five to 10 mile radius depending on weather conditions.

Phillipa Reive, head of education at Aldeburgh Productions, said: ''This is a brilliant and ambitious project – really on the cutting edge of prison work in the UK.

''The lads will learn skills they'd never normally be able to. Producing and broadcasting your own radio station is an amazing and rare opportunity. Also, it should be a huge boost for the lads' self-confidence. Giving people the opportunity to shine is often a big step towards rehabilitation.''

A recently-published report on an inspection of the Carlford Unit praised the ''impressive connections with the local community'' and the inspectors said before the inspection there had been a musical project week organised with the Aldeburgh Festival Group.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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