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People ask me how prison was, what it was like, I reply to them..... “Prison changed my life for the better”, this is solely because of the effects the people at Storybook Dads have had on me. When I committed my crime I had no thought of the consequences, my attitude was “do what has to be done to survive”. This was my first sentence and in prison your conversations are about crime and violence; it soaks into you. I am 100% certain that if I had not worked for Storybook Dads and met the people involved with the charity I would have come out of prison a higher risk and more qualified criminal.
Working with Storybook Dads gave me a lot more than just computer editing skills. They helped me realise there are choices in life; people that care, people who want to help. Storybook Dads to me isn’t just a charity; it’s a family. They run it in a way that gives lads a sense of normality, responsibility and that shows that someone wants to help them change.
I left prison in September 2009 but leaving Storybook Dads had a big effect on me. Having had such positive people around me it was hard when they are suddenly not there. But the staff kept in touch with me which really helped with my adjustment back into normal life. I’d become a proficient video editor during my time with them and they’ve offered me a part time job doing DVD editing, helping with IT and managing the website. The training and support that I received from Storybook Dads, has enabled me to start a new life, free of crime and full of prospects for the future.
Update 2016: Chris now has a successful business in UAV (drone) cinematography.
We are still in contact with Chris, and it is fantastic to see how well he is doing.
Storybook Dads is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity Registration No. 1101208
Prisoner’s Stories: Chris
I was sent to Dartmoor Prison in 2006. 6 months into my sentence I started working for Storybook Dads producing story CDs. I had worked in I.T. since I left college but had never done any audio or video editing before. After a few months I moved on to the new DVD project; filming prisoners reading stories to their children and editing them to produce a DVD. I worked for Storybook Dads for the next 2 and half years until my release in September 09. I learned audio and video production and 3D animation using up to date software; something I never thought was possible in prison. I produced interactive 3D DVDs and documentaries and wrote a video production tuition schedule and helped to run workshops in which I taught staff from other prisons how to use video editing Software.
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