Locked in the Pen

Giving a voice to former offenders to address the criminal justice system.


Locked in the Pen is a project that seeks to involve the community in South London in important discussions around probation, street crime and the cycle of re-offending.

The cost of reoffending in London is £1.3 Billion. 64.6% of people serving sentences of less than 12 months will reoffend within a year of being released.

Locked in the Pen comprises a series of workshops and community events during which service users at the probation hub in Stockwell, South London will join with members of their community and inspirational individuals who have turned their lives around to discuss the reality of a life of crime and how it can be avoided.

During the workshops, service users work with film professionals at the Independent Film Trust to express how they became involved in crime originally, and the environmental factors contribute to this cycle of offending and reoffending that is harder to break than many realise.

These workshops provide a way to build a practical bridge of communication between ex-offenders and their local community.


The service users then host a public screening event involving a series of sessions and discussions around a number of different topics, such as the cycle of crime and the importance of community awareness.  


"Just to be able to find a way to explain some of these things that are locked up inside me helps me to feel less angry about it. No-one listens to us."

- Julian, Probation Service User

By connecting service users with other members of their community, we hope they will be able to expand their support network, and in doing so, enable local South Londoners to better understand their own role in creating a more harmonious community for all.