Ex-prisoner gives advice to boys on avoiding crime

Students holding up prison clothing with Francis Ossei
Students holding up prison clothing with Francis Ossei

An ex-criminal who set up a charity to combat anti-social behaviour visited ARK William Parker Academy to talk to students on how to avoid a life of crime.

Francis Ossei, founder of Reform Restore Respect, spoke about his life in prison and how he became a reformed character.

He spoke openly about his life, how he got involved with gangs and his time in prison.

Mr Ossei set up his charity after serving more than eight-and-a-half years of a 15-year sentence. Its aim is to reduce the number of students engaging in behaviours that can lead to imprisonment.

He has worked with school teachers, social workers, youth offending teams, police officers, youth workers, prison officers and other organisations. Reform Restore Respect’s goal is to equip young people with tools to enable them to make empowering choices deterring them from anti-social behaviour, peer pressure, gangs, low self-esteem and criminal activities.

A workshop was run to encourage William Parker students to set realistic and reachable goals, using examples and testimonies of reformed low risk ex-offenders and ex-gang members who have turned their lives around. PC John Brooker, from Kent Police, explained how he first met Mr Ossei, when he was a young man involved in crime, and how he has now changed.