How can models of community education help to redress youth re-offending in the community?

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Last Updated: 26 Jan 2021
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In this essay a discussion of “how models of community education can help to re-dress youth re-offending in the community” will be given. There are three different aspects of models of community education which have been chosen to talk about and they are lifelong learningin the form of an offenders scheme, self-help and self determination. A definition of community education will be given and I will also (from a variety of sources) give statistics of the youth re-offending rate. A discussion on my local area (Hackney) will also be included with a talk about what the area is like and how the crime affects the area and how high/low youth reoffending is with more statistics being included.

I will also go on to talk about restorative justice, give my own personal opinion on which of the three models work. And a talk of Dr Tony Sewell’s work will also be a part of this essay. Three other things which will be established within this essay, will be community academy, community based education initiatives and the social identity theory which I will take examples from Lionel’s detailed power point presentation. After gathering all my findings a final conclusion will be added which will be a summary of all my research and giving my own thoughts and personal opinions.

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Definition of Community Education

Community education can be defined in various different ways. According to the website Wikipedia I have found that the definition of community education is.

Community Education. (2011, March 13). Retrieved April 1, 2011, from Wikipedia:

“Community education is also known as community based education/community and learning development. It is a learning and social development that tend to work with individuals and groups within their communities using a large range of formal and informal methods. Some of the programmes based in community education are developed in dialogue with communities and participants. Which improve the quality of life, of the people who take part.”

The purpose of community education is to develop the capacity of individuals and groups of all ages through action.

Taking reference from the power point present presentation on community education which was shown on week 2 of the module, I made sure to take notes on the various definitions on community education which I could include within my essay here are just a few example of definitions by a variety of sources:

presentation, L. P. (2011, February 12). UEL Plus. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from UEL:

“According to Tony Townsend his definition of Community Education is “the strength of community education, is also its weakness, community education’s strength is that it deals with many different and varied components of education within the community. Its weakness is that this makes it very hard to describe what we do.” – Tony Townsend

“Community Education is a structured way to assist, people to improve their lives”- Hungary

“A process where learning, is used for both individual and community betterment, it is characterised by: Involvement of people of all ages”

The use of community learning, resources and research to bring about community change.

“The recognition that people can learn through, with and for each other to create a better world”. – Canada


Hackney is known for its black and black crime and has been the victim of knife and gun crime, including postcode wars according to statistics

“Young people are over-represented both as perpetrators and as victims of crime throughout the UK. In Hackney itself, young people were accused of committing more than 19% of all offences last year when they make up only 12% of the population. During that same period (2007-2008), young people were also the victims of 2,372 offences. Despite these figures, crime as a whole is falling faster in Hackney than in any other London borough, with gun crime down by 35% in 2008.”

As you can see Hackney is getting better as figures have gone down, due to more police patrolling the streets, making sure the youth’s are not hanging around after a certain time

Between April 2007 and March 2007 a report was given in which factors were given about the types of offenders after analysing this report it was assumed that:

“42% of the young offenders considered in this report were not in ETE

Asian/Asian British young offenders are more than three times more likely to be in ETE than white British young offenders.

Young women who commit offences are more likely not to be in suitable ETE.

First time offenders were more likely to be in ETE than re-offenders.

Engagement in ETE generally reduces as the young people get older and as young people re-offend. “

This just goes to show that although the majority are in education, there are small parts that are still not in education. Is it due to the lack of teachers that do not support studentsOr are people around them unable to give young people the support and encouragement needed, which enables them to be on the right track. As you can see one of the statements has said that “first time offenders, were likely to be in education than re-offenders” which could mean that young people are not being given the opportunity to bring out their true potential or may just be bored of the subjects they are studying, which is causing them to lose focus and have their mind elsewhere. I think that teachers should give every young person as much support and encouragement as they can, keeping them on the right track.


Hackney a small borough in great which coincides in East London. First established on April 1st 1965 the official council is Hackney council. With a population estimated at 212,000 Hackney is quite a big borough with different ethnicities such as white, black, Asian etc. Diane Abbott, Hackney’s MP states that she has been increasing the level of police who patrol the streets. According to Abbott she has stated that the level of crime is predominately down to young men who do feel that carrying a knife, makes them superior to everyone else. They go out to a rave and carry a gun with them which to them feels like routine. They tend to see it as a style accessory which is beginning to become part of their culture. Voicing her opinion about crime in Hackney, she has spoken out to say “we see so many young people for whom the gun culture is part and parcel of their culture it seems as though that the level of gun crime is tiny”.(2008) I will be biased and say that as a resident of Hackney myself whenever I do read about crime within my area innocent people are usually involved. With most people too frightened to come forward and do something about it. This could potentially reduce the level of crime that continues to dominate hackney.

Restorative justice

Restorative Justice. (2011, March 15th). Retrieved March 18th, 2011, from

“A broad term which encompasses a growing social movement to institutionalize peaceful approaches to harm, problem solving and violations of legal and human rights. These range from international peacemaking tribunals such as the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission to innovations within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, schools, social services and communities. Rather than privileging the law, professionals and the state, restorative resolutions engage those who are harmed, wrong doers and their affected communities in search of solutions that promote repair, reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationship. Restorative justice seeks to build partnerships to re-establish mutual responsibility for constructive responses to wrongdoing within our communities. Restorative approaches seek a balanced approach to the needs of the victim, wrongdoer and community through processes that preserve the safety and dignity of all”

What Is Restorative Justice(2010, December Friday). Retrieved March 28th, 2011, from Restorative Justice Council:

“Restorative Justice Processes can bring those harmed, by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident, to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward”.

Restorative Justice. (2011, March 15th). Retrieved March 18th, 2011, from

It is stated that Restorative Justice, can also be known as reparative justice. The main focus is on the needs of the victims and offenders. Instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. There are various ways to look at restorative justice, you could think of it as a balance between a number of different tensions:

A balance between the therapeutic and the retributive models of justice

A balance between the rights of offenders and the needs of the victims

A balance between the need to rehabilitate offenders and the duty to protect the public.

Models of community education

There are various models of community education; one in particular is lifelong learning to me lifelong learning is continuous source of learning and building skills, throughout a person’s life experiences that can be encountered in the cause of a life time. Lifelong learning can be known as being very formal for example. counselling, tutoring, mentorship, apprenticeship, higher education etc. Or informal could be by the experiences one has had. One method lifelong method of learning I found during my research is the ex offenders scheme

Trust, T. L. (2011). Ex Offender’s Scheme. Retrieved March 29th, 2011, from The Learning Trust:

The restorative justice council has said, “the ex offenders support service, has an aim to engage, support and keep ex prisoners in learning and training to break their cycle of crime”. The scheme is run by Alison Kakande; work with young offenders in the borough of Hackney, with regular visit to prisons both in and out of London. Alison visits inmates who are in their final months in prison to give them the opportunity to talk about what they what like to do after they have left prison. Not only do these inmates receive regular guidance, which are tailored to their individual needs, but they also take into account their offending background. The scheme is on a one to one basis and also offers support to the families of the ex offenders. (What Is Restorative Justice(2010, December Friday). Retrieved March 28th, 2011, from Restorative Justice Council: )

I decided that the best way to find out more about the ex offenders scheme, was to interview Alison herself. So on Thursday 31st March 2011, I conducted a telephone interview to gain a further insight.

Me: Hello Alison, my name is Latoya, I’m a student at the University of East London conducting an essay on which way crimes can be reduced, and was wondering if you could take the time to answer a few questions for me.

Me: so Alison, why did was this scheme set up?

Well, the scheme was set up, to show offender’s that they are able to do something positive with their lives after a spell in prison. I after seeing so many people I know, who have been in and out of prison I decided to turn a negative into a positive and give prisoners an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

Me: can you give me a further insight to how the scheme runs?

Well my role is to go and visit prisoners who are about to be released and talk to them about what they want to do, when they are out. I give them the opportunity to think about whether they want to work, or get back into education, giving them the support and guidance they need.

Me: do you think that by the level of support that the inmates get, will break their cycle of crime?

There is only so much support that this scheme can give, it’s up to the individual, to take what we’ve given them and use it to utilise their full potential with our constant encouragement of course.

Me: since starting the scheme, in your opinion how successful do you think it’s been?, this scheme has a success rate of 90% and there is still more that we can do to give equal opportunities to the people who are coming out of prison and want turn their lives around, not just for themselves but for the people around them.

There are various models of community Education, e.g. Lifelong learning, community involvement, self- determination, self help etc. I will go on to discuss two models of community education. Self- help and self-determination. To have self determination you have to have a goal and aspire to reach that goal, that how self determination starts from within, by aiming to achieve something within a certain time frame. Giving my own definition of self-determination I believe this is where an individual takes control and motivates themselves to determine what they want from their own lives. By having self determination maybe this could stop youths re-offending in the sense that they are able to set themselves a goal, like going back into education; to gain themselves a qualification to make themselves and others around them proud is not going to make them to reoffend if they are doing something positive for themselves and showing other around them, how they are able to change their lives after being in prison.

Drawing on the topic of self-help after coming out of prison could be a little difficult. To help yourself, you have to be emotionally, psychically and mentally ready. Self help is where people are able to take responsibility for their own lives and well being becoming independent, not having to rely on others. There are various sources of self- help such as support groups or public information.

Which model works?

Out of the models which I have chosen to speak about, I believe that all three could work together and in their own various ways. That in particular being lifelong learning with regards to the ex offenders scheme. I believe that after interviewing the ex offenders scheme manager. I have managed to establish an understanding that this particular scheme links all three models together. To be a part of the scheme you have to have that mindset, of achieving a positive outcome, after having a negative experience. Drawing upon the ex offenders scheme, contributes to both self-help and self-determination. I have gained understanding and to my knowledge believe that this is real starting point for youth’s break their cycle of crime and for them to have a more positive experience. I think that this form of lifelong learning will enable a youth or any other offender for that matter that just because they’ve had a spell in prison; does not mean that they are not able to turn their lives around. Not just for themselves, but for friends and family also, so overall I think that all models work, but can on the basis of how


Dr Tony Sewell

According to Dr Tony Sewell “Black students are three times more likely to be excluded from school than other groups. More black young men go to prison than university; in the face of these alarming statistics it is evident that we need more black male teachers”.

I do agree with Sewell’s statement here, as we see too many young boys on the news or in newspapers, not actually being praised. But either dying or going to prison. I don’t however believe that the lack of male black teachers affect the level of young black men going to prison, as I believe it is up to the person themselves, to make a life for themselves. Of course the basis is of what family background a person has I think that has big influence on what a person does with their life, whether it is education or prison. Speaking from experience within my own family my father wasn’t always around, but I did have the love and support of my mother and my sister’s who encouraged me that university is the way forward. And after seeing my two sister’s graduate from university and gain good grades, made me want to better myself. On the negative side speaking on behalf of my older brother I can say that him never having a father around made him a totally different person which is why he ended up in prison. I think the lack of support that he got in school from his teacher’s made him doubt himself and this is where thing’s started to go wrong. I think the lack of black teachers back in his school days were next to none and the simple fact there was no male figure there to guide him growing up.

Dr Tony Sewell is a very well known educational advisor, who speaks widely on issues that relates to race, social justice, emotional and behaviourally difficult children, Sewell. A former tutor, he has also been a senior lecturer in the school of education and at the University of Leeds.

Sewell also runs his own London based charity “Generating genius” which aim is to help children in that in particular, boys of a black and mixed raced heritage. Who come from a working class background. The aim of this scheme is for those young boys to achieve educational success and go onto university.

I believe that this is the a

Community Academy

Social identity theory

The social identity theory is a theory which was developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner, to understand the basis of intergroup discrimination. My class was given a lecture on the social identity theory and I was particularly drawn when Lionel explained and examined the minimal conditions for inter-group discrimination.

Taking notes on the particular topic I found that the main points of the conditions were Minimal group paradigm, no shared interaction between the groups, no shared goals and participations were unaware of other’s group membership.

During the power point presentation I was made aware of what Tajfel and Turner expected. The minimal group was given no name in which Tajfel and Turner expected this to have no effect, because of this they then decided to add other aspects of group identity. To establish a minimal group they took a set of young boys, who had been previously acquainted from local private schools. The boys were asked to look at a set of slides and were told to guess, how many dots were on the slide.

Lionel went on to discuss how, many people like in-groups because we are motivated to achieve and maintain a positive self-image. Self-image has two components. Personal identity and social identities, which come from the groups which we associate ourselves with. This is drawing on the fact that when our group succeeds, we succeed which can boost our self image, there is a process of this, and we were giving an example of this in the form of a diagram.

After analysing the diagram it came to my attention that there is one big link, self esteem, within this diagram I am able to take and understand that gaining self –esteem comes from a variety of sources. Take personal identity for example, this is when a person knows who they really are and exudes confidence, their self esteem can be at an all time high as they are not allowing anyone to change who and how they are. Another example is personal achievement, when someone has achieved something so great like gaining a degree of course their self esteem is boosted, it’s something they have worked hard for and can look back on.

The social identity theory is made up of three elements.

Categorization: where we as people label others and ourselves putting ourselves into categories for example, we can label someone as being an Asian, Muslim or a singer. This is a way of saying things about other people.

Identification: which groups we associate ourselves with (in groups) which predominately boosts our self esteem.

Comparison: this is where we compare our group with other groups, but tending to be biased to the group in which we belong to.


In conclusion, to answer the question how can models of community education help to redress youths re-offending in the communityAccording to the research that I have undertaken I have gained further insight and I believe that by just by having aspects such as lifelong learning which is obviously continuous throughout a person’s life, will enable the majority of ex offenders to want to take a step in the right direction and produce a positive outcome. By having support and encouragement from family and friends and the self-determination to turn their life around for the better. I think that more models of community education could be established to ensure that youth’s who reoffend are given a choice of what to do after they leave prison to deter them from reoffending.

I think that

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How can models of community education help to redress youth re-offending in the community?. (2019, Apr 02). Retrieved from

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