Evaluating Drama-Based Crime Prevention: Problems, Politics, and New Directions

Laura Kelly*, Victoria Foster, Anne Hayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


There is considerable international interest in the ways arts- and drama-based education might benefit young people, especially those with limited access to cultural opportunities. The potential contribution of arts- and drama-based interventions to rehabilitating “young offenders” or improving the resilience of those identified as “at risk” of offending has also been emphasised. In the national context which forms the focus of this chapter, a strategic partnership between the Youth Justice Board, which oversees youth (i.e., juvenile) justice services in England and Wales, and Arts Council England, the national arts development agency, has recently encouraged such initiatives and highlighted existing work. Although official evaluations are often positive, critical criminologists have tended to be cautious when assessing the capacity of short-term projects to address youth crime/criminalization and the structural problems with which these issues are associated. In this chapter, we explore methodological innovations which offer the possibility of more fully engaging with the aesthetic and political dimensions of drama-based interventions and advocate a participatory arts-based approach to research and evaluation practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlternative Offender Rehabilitation and Social Justice
Subtitle of host publicationArts and Physical Engagement in Criminal Justice and Community Settings
EditorsJanelle Joseph, Wesley Crichlow
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781137476821
ISBN (Print)9781349553259
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2015


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