Evaluating an education and inclusion solution for juvenile offenders José Santos December 17, 2021

Evaluating an education and inclusion solution for juvenile offenders

ActiveGames4Change (AG4C) project brings together key experts and stakeholders to fine-tune the adequacy of its methodology to different target groups and realities.

There is a known potential in utilising cooperative gaming and team building activities as non-formal learning tools to teach citizenship, emotional and social competencies. Young offenders can benefit from the increased appeal of these teaching methods, when compared to traditional education, to develop these skills as part of their rehabilitation process. Physical education activities will aid the development of their pro-social competencies and consequently support their future employability.

The ActiveGames4Change project capitalises on this active learning environment to improve the quality and attractiveness of educational training for youth in custody by developing both the methodological framework and the necessary pedagogical tools.

To guarantee that the project’s solution is adequate to the target groups and different local realities of project partners, the project conducted pilots with key experts. These teachers, trainers, academics, youth workers, and other technicians that work directly with youth in conflict with the law sat together to experience, test and evaluate the programme.


A mobile app was designed and developed for AG4C project to support the monitors during the outdoor activities by displaying the activity plan and keeping track of the overall programme.

Different approaches for specific needs

Divided into teams based on the groups of children and youngsters they work with, the professionals taking part in the pilot AG4C programme were asked to focus on their clients’ problems. After this assessment, these workgroups created targeted implementation plans adapted to involve their specific young offender groups.

For each institution, it is essential to adjust the games, their introduction and goals based on age groups, skill needs, and general environment. These adaptations aimed to increase young people’s motivation to participate and select the best activities, considering the skills to be achieved. The adjustment phase is crucial for the project success, as creating active learning environments depends on it.

IPS developed and planned the implementation strategy to be applied by the partners when piloting and contributed to organising these pilot events held in Portugal during October and December 2021.

The ActiveGames4Change project is promoted by the University of Gloucestershire (United Kingdom) in partnership with IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal), BSAFE LAB – Law Enforcement, Justice and Public Safety Research and Technology Transfer Lab of Beira Interior University (Portugal), Aproximar (Portugal), CESIE – European Studies and Initiatives Center (Italy), CPIP – Center for the Promotion of Lifelong Learning (Romania), BAGázs– Bagazs Kozhasznu Association (Hungary), Diagrama Foundation (Spain), the Turkish Ministry of Justice, and Craiova Juvenile and Youth Penitentiary (Romania).

For more information visit the ActiveGames4Change website.