OPEN WINDOWS: Keeping company with young offenders


Ανοιχτά Παράθυρα 11.2.22

From December 2021 to July 2022, a team of young people, members of the Freshness Group of INART.12, together with founding members of the Initiative, regularly visited the prison of Corinth and kept company with young offenders aged 15 to 18, in an action called OPEN WINDOWS. They chatted, played games, made paintings and crafts, listened to music, sang, danced together with them and somehow connected the prison with free society. The activity had been approved by the Ministry of Citizen Protection and its expenses were covered by donations.

karaviaOne of the group's interesting experiences was when the youth made large coloured paper boats and sent them to a secondary school in Galatsi/Athens. A representative of INART.12 visited a class of the school and explained to the students how they were created. Then the kids of the school decided to hang them on the walls of their classroom and, thankful for the "gift", they made their own boats and sent them back to the youth in Corinth to hang them on their own walls.

Every week the teenage inmates looked forward to the time with the OPEN WINDOS come and, in fact, a few times when the visit had to be cancelled due to lack of correctional staff, they were very disapponted.

The meetings were held in the classroom of the prison school. Along with the joy for the meeting expressed each time by both sides, wishes were given for future meetings outside the penitentiary, with the expectation of a free and creative life in the open society. This is where joung offenders belong, since they are still children. The State must give them opportunities, experiences and encouragement to believe in themselves and act as useful and responsible young citizens.

The team's visits to the Corinth prison were completed in the summer of 2022, when the minors were transferred to another prison in Kassaveteia near Volos, far away from Athens. OPEN WINDOWS managed to reached them only for another two times. Some meetings were also held with teenagers who were released from prison.



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