Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does Charles use adult language in his presentations?
The subject of the use of strong language in Charles’ presentation is a common topic for discussion. Some members of the teaching profession disagree with the use of adult language, but we have the statistics that show that the presentation in its current form works by exploiting a little-known psychological loophole: The use of adult language and the same terms that gangs use on the street engages kids in such a way that they associate themselves with the earlier version of Charles, and so they take his advice as a peer, and not as a teacher. Furthermore, Charles identifies himself as a loser and sets himself up as a negative role model, so that kids do not follow his example of crime or choose to use adult language themselves. You could say that the use of adult language actually dissuades kids from using adult language.
To underline this point, the concept behind the use of adult language is introduced to the kids at the start of the presentation when Charles says something like: "For the next 2 hours you are in prison, and you’re going to experience life and language just like you would in prison, and at the end of it I want you to ask yourself, is this how you want your life to be?" Some institutions choose to place signs saying something like, "Tonight there may be language used that may be offensive or explicit. This is purely to demonstrate the type of language that might be used in a prison environment. We do not condone the use of offensive language in any real-life situation. There are always better ways to express yourself."
We have the statistics that show that the presentation in its current form works:
1) At a recent presentation at a Pupil Referral Unit in Huddersfield, 5 of the 10 kids in attendance signed up for apprenticeships immediately afterwards.
2) After the YMCA showing in Woolwich, a 14-year old boy told Charles that he had been under peer pressure to join a gang, and after seeing the presentation he now decided never to join a gang. It would be no exaggeration to say that we probably saved that boy’s life!
This is already backed up in testimonials from dozens of teachers and YOT professionals who endorse this approach. Please take a look at the testimonials page.
We are now professionally gathering statistics through on-line surveys at every presentation, and the kids who have responded so far are all telling us that:
1) They were shocked by what they saw and heard
2) They were glad that they were shocked
3) The use of adult language was appropriate
Ask yourself this question: Do you want a nice presentation or do you want a presentation that works consistently to prevent criminal behaviour?
- What topics are covered in the slippery slope presentations?
- Charles begins his presentations by demonstrating that he - like the kids in the audience - was once young and innocent, to make them understand that they are just like the earlier version of him. He will then expand into his life of crime and life in prison, describing the horrors of prison life, the violence and uncertainty faced. Having shown how much of a bad idea it is to go to jail, he makes the audience realise that if they take the wrong choice they could end up dead, and he presents - very simply - a choice for the kids to take. He then goes on to present suggestions of an alternative path by taking up careers in the trades, forces and sports, ending the presentation on a positive note.
- How long is the Slippery Slope presentation?
- We have found that the ideal length for a Slippery Slope presentation is two hours, although Charles can fit into shorter or longer slots if necessary. Under normal circumstances you might imagine that the average troublesome child might have trouble sitting still for a full two hours, but Charles’ presentation is so engaging to a young audience that they are very engrossed. Charles is also very good at reading the room, reading the atmosphere and keeping order as and when things get a little unruly.