See people, not their mistakes
The basis of the New Cross Gate Program, and its approach to serving its clients is to provide a safe and positive environment for constructive and productive expression, growth, reflection and catharsis. We have found through the tools of performance and dramatic we can facilitate the process of looking at a significant moment in someone’s life from every possible angle. We explore the motivations of every character who enters the scene. We build empathy for all motivations.
As facilitators we offer no opinions, and we draw no conclusions. We aid in the process of creating a dramatic moment with characters who have wants and needs that are relatable to any audience that could be watching. Our clients take it from there.
The dramatic medium provides the room for complexity and nuance, for evolving motivations and most importantly for the alteration of any chosen path. We find that in allowing our clients the space and tools to recreate significant moments from their lives those pillars of our program assert themselves – expression, growth, reflection, catharsis.
Our clients are those who are currently incarcerated or who have been through the judicial system. They are not criminals. They are not the result of one moment in their lives. They are the culmination of every experience they’ve ever had. Some of those experiences are filled with joy and happiness, some with sadness and sorrow. Some of those experiences are the results of mistakes or bad choices; some are the result of environment, good or bad. This is the same for every human being on the planet.
Through the process of constructing and performing personal narratives our clients find the ways and means to overcome the labels their mistakes and bad choices have placed upon them. They equip themselves with the tools to prevent future mistakes, to overcome the tough circumstances of their environments. Our clients leave our program with the ability not only to avoid bad choices but with the power to consistently make good choices – ones that serve themselves, their communities, and the greater good.
For data on how prison education and programming reduces recidivism and results in reductions in crime, savings to taxpayers, and long-term contributions to the safety and well-being of the communities to which formerly incarcerated people return, please click here.