Offenders’ charity to target children

Revolving Doors, the charity for mentally-ill criminals, is to target schoolchildren, among others, as part of a campaign aimed at breaking down negative perceptions of offenders with mental health problems.

The charity plans to produce a video that can be used in school lessons and during other presentations, according to head of policy and communications Murray Benham.

He added that he would also be looking for pro-bono assistance from established public-sector PR agencies, as well as other charities, to assist with this potentially sensitive campaign.

Benham said: ‘We want to work with other charities to produce a video that will fit in with the national curriculum.

‘This is just one of the constant opportunities we have to break down the myths perpetuated by the media, which reports on the cases that stick in people’s minds but are not typical of the offences committed by people,’ he added.

Revolving Doors is also preparing a response to a report by the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit, called Reducing Re-offending by Ex-prisoners. This was published in July as part of the unit’s work on assisting adults with mental health problems and job creation in socially deprived areas.

The charity plans to publish its response next month. This will lobby against the unit’s recommendations to remove social security benefits as punishment for antisocial behaviour.

Revolving Doors is also to appoint two PROs, dealing with the press and policy respectively, in the next few months, although exact job titles are still to be finalised.

Benham was appointed to set up the charity’s newly created PR team at the beginning of this month and was previously communications manager for the now defunct Association of Community Health Councils.

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