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KS4 Citizenship: Out of Control (2002)

A starter looking at young offender's institutions

Main image of KS4 Citizenship: Out of Control (2002)
AuthorRyan Deneven-Lewis
Topic Young Offender's Institutes
Curriculum links NC KS3 Citizenship; Crime and Young People

Taken from the one-off BBC drama Out of Control (2002), this extract shows a young boy, Dean, arriving at a young offender's institution for the first time.

Shot in an observational documentary style, Out of Control (2002) is a gruelling drama that sympathetically explores some of the pitfalls of the youth justice system. This extract offers a starting point for considering the emotional impact of custodial sentences on young offenders (Dean is clearly terrified) and is used here as a starter before a lesson looking at youth justice system in the UK in general.



As pupils watch the extract, ask them to watch and listen carefully, before leading a class discussion: what is happening in this scene? How would students describe the behaviour of the staff? Why do students think Dean has found himself in this situation? How would they describe his emotional state? They can read more a synopsis of the plot by following the link on the right.

Now it's time to see how much students know about the youth justice system in the UK. There are plenty of questions to ask - perhaps gather students' ideas on the board. What different kinds of punishments are there for young people who break the law? Roughly how many young people do students think are serving custodial sentences? What are the priorities of young offender's institutions?

These ideas can be used as a point of reference throughout the rest of the lesson as students learn about/research some of the questions.


Some more ideas

  • Encourage students to consider Dean's emotional state in a little more detail - perhaps by writing a short first-person narrative describing his feelings as he arrives at the young offender's institution for the first time.
Video Clips
2. New boy (5:06)

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Out of Control (2002)Out of Control (2002)

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Thumbnail image of Scum (1977)Scum (1977)

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See also