University of the Arts London

Using design to prevent crime

Inmates at HMP Thameside have created a range of anti-theft bags as part of an award-winning restorative justice design project set up by the University of the Arts London.

Makeright launched in 2015 following a pilot scheme led by Professor Lorraine Gamman and her team from the university’s Design Against Crime Research Centre at Central Saint Martins. Working with staff and students, the project aims to teach inmates new skills such as “purposeful learning” and to show restorative justice in action. The bags are currently on sale through organic food supplier Abel and Cole. 

Prof Gamman said, “Makeright is a Design Against Crime response to pickpockets, bag theft and street crime delivering designs by inmates who want to put something good back into society.”

Keith Jarvis, Head of Prison Industries at HMP Thameside, said, "Makeright is a breath of fresh air. Working with offenders on employment skills is not exactly revolutionary. But what is different with this course is that inmates learn design skills and knowledge that can be transferred to many aspects of their lives, not only for employment."

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