Giving children a taste of prison life is one way of warning them off a life of crime, but it must be hoped that this shock tactic isn’t the only thing keeping youngsters on the straight and narrow.
A mobile cell is to be taken around schools, with nine to 11-year-olds then shut inside, giving them a brief experience of what life would be like inside prison.
The HMP NOT-4-Me project is targeted at Year 5 and 6 pupils because 10 is the current age of criminal responsibility.
Organisers say children who have taken part in the scheme are surprised that they could be arrested and detained for their actions at the age of only 10.
It is a good lesson to learn but the fear of prison shouldn’t be the only thing preventing our young from committing crime.
As ever the onus should be on good parenting, a solid family life and the support of teachers and other adult authority figures.
The programme is an excellent way of reenforcing that prison is where you’ll end up if you choose the wrong path in life.
The world isn’t perfect; children can be influenced and get into trouble – we understand that.
However, the work of teaching right from wrong must begin with parents who set the correct example at home.