The Annual ‘Bail Out’ is Whitelion’s national fundraising and awareness campaign providing a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a young person that has been disconnected from our community due to abuse and neglect, drug addiction and poverty. Whitelion is a charity partner for the Talent RISE foundation that provide us with connections to Young People to place into employment and also the opportunity for our Talent staff to become mentors through the mentor training they provide.
13 of the brave Talent team signed up to spend a night in prison and be treated as inmates, and raised a total of $11,752 that goes directly to Whitelion!
The team arrived at 5.30pm and were marched straight into lockdown. They went through the normal processes a real inmate would have gone through, having their fingerprints and photo taken to be processed by guards.
After this they were searched for contraband, clothed and had their personal belongings taken away. They were then given strict instructions of prison rules and all inmates were to abide and behave. Those that did not follow these rules were put into solitary confinement for being disorderly or not responding quick enough to the guards. An even worse punishment for those misbehaving was being made to do physical activity and push ups.
They were then split into groups of three, where they were paired up in different rooms with a different person being either a ex-prisoner, a family lawyer who specialised in indigenous children or a video presentation of a young person who suffered domestic violence and was put into foster care.
The most moving of the rooms for many of the 13, was a young person named Jane. The room told an unfortunate truth of a young person with real life struggles with the system and society, where ultimately it fails to help and Jane, which results in her taking her own life to escape.
Throughout the overnight stay they were treated to a prison like dinner scenario in a hall environment, where they witnessed actors portraying a realistic brawl conflict with prisoners and guards.
Concluding the night, they watched a play based on a court case and a story based on domestic violence and what an impact it has on the young individual involved. Overall this was an eye opening experience for all of those involved, realising what happens within our justice centres.
To find out more about Whitelion follow the link here: https://www.whitelionbailout.org.au/