By Kris Jepson
An exhibition has been unveiled at an event at Newcastle's Discovery Museum showcasing artwork by women who have been through the criminal justice system.
It rehabilitates women on probation by using heritage and art to encourage them to take positive steps and reclaim their identity.
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One woman who took part in the project is 'Alice'. She wanted to remain anonymous as she moves her life forward, but also wanted to talk about the positive impact the project has had on her life.
'Alice' was referred to the project when she was going through probation. Now she wants to become a mentor for other women in who have been through the criminal justice system to help give them a voice.
The event, which took place at Newcastle's Discovery Museum, celebrated the work of the women and was attended by speakers including Mim Skinner, the author of Jailbirds, writer and campaigner for women’s issues around imprisonment; Kim McGuinness, The Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria; and Kate Chedgzoy, Professor of Renaissance Literature from Newcastle University.
Artwork and crafts were displayed at the venue's Great Hall, alongside images of women who had been through the criminal justice system centuries ago.
A poem was read out, based on the testimony of the women from nine hubs across the Northumbria Police Force area, some of whom are still on probation.
Local singer-songwriter, Beccy Owen, also teamed up with the women to compose a new song based on their experiences and performed the piece at the event.