Inmates - Oscar

This idea of making a documentary film came about when I was in my first year of my sentence. Myself and some of the other guys were talking about how we could make an impact on the youth primarily between the ages of 16-25. I had heard a lot from victims of crime and wanted to give us a voice because we are all teetering on the edge of criminality with our high risk lifestyles. One example of this was when I was at school, there was a woman who came over from Canada and told us the story of how her sister was killed in a car accident by a drink driver. The majority of the school and especially me found that it was too far removed from our life and culture. This is why we wanted to educate and raise awareness of how our crimes have a greater impact on not only us but cause a ripple effect that can have huge consequences throughout society.

We really wanted to achieve maximum exposure for the film. We wanted to reach out to other young people starting out in their early adult life, to educate them about what can happen if you make the wrong choices. It only takes a moment of stupidity to ruin your life or someone else’s.  We wanted to convey how bland and regimented daily life is in prison and how mentally taxing it is on a young persons mind.  Personally I also used the filming of the documentary as a tool for rehabilitation and to repair my soul. I found that talking about my crime in such detail made me more comfortable within myself and made me realise that some remarkable things can come from adversities.

The process of making the film was a very long arduous task and at times very confronting. It brought back many memories that I had tried to forget. I found myself in a terrible situation the night of my crime and didn’t want to unearth those feelings of being trapped and helpless again. We wanted it to be our project so the entire film has been shot and edited by the boys. This came with some complications in order for it to look professional we had to have a crash course in film making. Without the help of Shark Island Productions none of this would have been possible. The entire process has taken almost 4 years, we have had many problems with content and receiving approval from the higher powers. We wanted to keep it raw and real without any sugar coating or outside involvement.

Inmates - Darren

I want to write about a program I am doing in the Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison, called Stories From The Inside. This program is about a few of the guys and I got together and were filmed telling our stories. I did this program because I am doing a while in Jail and I thought by contributing to something like this I could help other young people avoid going through what I have been through by stopping and thinking about the consequences of their actions.

In the process of making this DVD you really get to understand the effect your actions have on those around you and those closest to you. Plus it feels good to do something that could help other young people. I hope that when young guys watch my story and other stories like it, then it might make them think twice before doing something that could change their lives forever. Even if it only helps one person then it has achieved what I hoped it would.

Thanks for watching Stories From The Inside.

Inmates - Luke

I am currently serving a sentence in the Youth Unit at Port Phillip Prison. The reason why I’ve decided to help the Stories from the Inside Program is to give something back to the community, to help others in similar need, to prevent kids coming to Jail and also to help myself change. The more I tell myself this isn’t a life, the more I practice it, the more it sticks in my head. Mainly the reason I have got involved in this program is for me and my family, I want to prove to my family and myself that I can change and that I want to change my life for the better. If I can change and show people then there is hope for anyone who wants it. Mainly I want to help kids not come to jail and make the same mistakes I did. It also helps me understand where I went wrong and what I can do to change this from happening again. It helped me realise the potential risks and also how I want my life to be.

When I first started to get involved in this program I got a lot of satisfaction knowing that even though it is hard and you don’t think anything is going to change and that you feel like you’re living in hell, and nothing’s going your way, it does get better and better, you have to keep trying and trying, but the more you try it gets easier as you go. So what I’m trying to say is I’ve got a lot out of helping with Stories from the Inside even though it has taken a while and a lot of things have happened since we started it. It’s made me have a long hard think about my life and the people I care about. I hope a lot of young people like me get a lot out of the DVD and it helps them realise there are more important things in their lives like I did.

I hope after people watch the Stories From the Inside film they will think about how easy it is to come to Jail and that Jail is not a nice place to be. At least when people walk away after watching the film they will have more of a grasp of what might be and that this deters young people from doing crime or making silly mistakes. If more young people think about their actions before they make rash decisions then it will make it safer for people in their community. I hope this achieves so much greatness in making the world a better place for everyone to feel safe, secure and at peace in their community. I think this will achieve a lot, I hope it does anyway. I hope the statistics drop a lot in youth crime across Australia.

Inmates - Zac

My name is Zac and I would like to say a few things about the role I have played in the Stories From The Inside program here at Penhyn Unit, Port Phillip Prison. Firstly I would like to thank Anne Hooker for giving me this opportunity to share my story, and Jaque from Shark Island Productions for all the hard work he has done along the way.

Stories From The Inside is a documentary filmed here in the Port Phillip Prison Youth Unit. The project was put together a few years ago, the aim of this film is to share our stories and our views on offending and the impacts on all parties involved. I was a bit wary on whether I should take part in this film, but then I thought if I can help at least one young person to learn from my mistakes it would mean a lot to me, and I am sure it would mean a lot to my victim.

Thanks for your time and attention, enjoy the film.