DOI: 10.1177/0306624x231212805 ISSN: 0306-624X

Does a Five-Day Drama Program Support Men in Prison to Develop Their Self-Confidence?

Emily E. L. Brooks
  • Applied Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

This paper evaluates an established five-day drama project, designed, and delivered by a professional company, aimed to support the development of self-confidence of seven men with a history of substance misuse in a category C prison. The project involved creation of a safe space, improvised role-play, development of communication skills, and exploration of substance misuse, culminating in a performance. Audience members included prison staff, governors, healthcare staff, and prisoners. A mixed method approach was used to evaluate the project. Participant’s pre and post project self-confidence and feelings of positivity were collated by a questionnaire compromising of closed questions and measured using a Likert scale. On the last day of the project qualitative interviews were conducted using open ended questions. The findings conclude that the use of drama can support development of self-confidence in men in prison. The project encouraged skills such as, commitment, communication, collaboration, and motivation enhancing the likelihood of rehabilitation and promoting crime abstinence. Further research with a larger sample size will identify if the changes the men experienced were statistically significant and maintained.

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