Rideout is one of the UK's leading creative organisations working within the field of criminal justice.
Like others, we have been very concerned over the misinformation about prison life and prison reform that is a feature of much journalism.
GOTOJAIL gives members of the public a chance to 'get inside' prison life in a way that has never happened before. It involves the construction of a replica cell in an empty shop unit in a shopping centre or precinct. It is as close to a real cell in terms of size and facilities as it is possible to get.
When the cell is open, visitors have the opportunity to enter the cell to inspect the conditions. Also present is a prisoner - or prisoners - who are 'confined' to the cell. Feel free to converse with them about life inside. After visiting, you may engage in Rideout's digital consultation and contribute to setting the prisoners tariffs - as well as determining what facilities they should be allowed in the cell.
GOTOJAIL has previously been located in the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton, Stoke-on-Trent City Centre, the Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham, the Southbank Centre, London, Kidderminster Town Hall, City of Birmingham Library and Shop Front Theatre, Coventry.
The cell completes its current tour with a visit to Bury.
It will be hosted at the Mill Gate Shopping Centre, Bury where it will be open everyday 11am and 4pm on 19 - 28 May 2016. We are on Minden Parade, opposite Leckenby's Tea Rooms.
During these times you will also be able to view interactions in the cell live online. Click on the video tab to access the livefeed.
Rideout gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Arts Council England, The J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Kidderminster Arts Festival, and The North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership.
"Brilliant idea, brilliantly executed to provoke public thinking and conversations about prison, and what works, what doesn't, what's right, what's wrong. Very glad I found it amongst the shops."
"Very interesting. It has given me a perspective on prisoners' daily grind: it's not a holiday camp, it's a different world. I was in for 30 minutes and it felt weird being outside in the shop with all the SPACE. The intensity and closet feeling was quite eye opening. The project is very good and should happen more often!"
"I work on the bench. This project is very good. There should be more preventative work with young people."
"Very enlightening, everyone should see this display and not continue to ruminate on stereotypes and prejudices they and society hold...Cell too small, unless it's only for a couple of hours or overnight. The plight of inmates with mental health problems is not resolved."
"The overall feeling of being in the cell wasn't nice at all and I don't ever want to have to go there ever in my life."