It seems that Anne Hooker has got the art of helping young offenders down to a T-shirt. The youth development officer in Port Philip Prison in the state of Victoria, Australia has been rewarded by the state for getting young offenders to channel their energies in a more productive fashion. Indeed, fashion has been the key to her success, as she now uses T-shirt printing as a means for the young offenders to give back to their community.

Since 2005, sales of the T-shirt have raised over $130,000

The money raised from the printed T-shirts has all gone straight to local children’s charities. The T-shirt business she has set up is part of the ‘Doin’ Time’ program which aims to give inmates new skills and confidence so that once released they are less likely to re-offend. One inmate stated to the Wyndham Weekly how,

‘It gives us a focus and something positive with which we can channel our energies and really make a difference’

Based in the youth unit of the prison, Anne describes how cell mates turn into colleagues as all are responsible for the decisions affecting the business.

‘They support one another, resolve issues together and work as a team and learn valuable skills so they go back into the community as responsible young men. When they first arrive, they’re often angry about being here, but they only have to be involved in this program for a week and their attitude changes’

With so much money raised for charity, it is clear that the T-shirts are a hit down under but do you think a scheme like this would work here in England? Would you buy a  T-shirt made by a prisoner?

For more information of the scheme, check out their website