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Breaking Cycles: Building Lives

Crime, anti-social behaviour, addiction, violence, anger... these self-destructing behaviours ruin lives, but they rarely happen out of the blue.

Criminality can be a response to trauma, neglect, violence, abuse or grief in people's early lives.

In fact, studies suggest that in the prison population, more than 84% of male prisoners and 94% of female prisoners have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

Causeway’s four crime reduction services grew in response to a gap in support for people who needed help addressing the roots of their criminal behaviour, rather than just punishment.

This not only supports individuals to step away from criminality, but helps victims of crime and makes society safer for all.

Our holistic public health approach to crime reduction sees our staff work with those who commit crime to understand the reasons behind their behaviour, and support them in taking control of their lives.

Breaking Cycles: Building Lives is a campaign that shines a spotlight on the real-life stories of people who have broken free from the cycle of crime that was holding them back from living their lives.

Through film, animation and personal accounts, this campaign brings to life these often-unheard stories, to help us explore with compassion the link between trauma and criminality, and challenge pre-conceived ideas of those involved in the criminal justice system.

Sign up to Causeway’s free newsletter to stay up-to-date with our crime reduction work: bit.ly/CausewayNewsletter

"The part trauma has to play in decisions that lead to criminality, and on behaviours that involve criminality, are massively underestimated. By addressing the trauma behind the crime, we can reduce crime, and make life safer for everybody." - Stu Otten, Causeway's Head of Criminal Justice Services

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Dwayne's story
“I’ve been shot, stabbed, and chopped in the head with a machete. I’ve been paralyzed on my left, scars all over my body, I could have been killed so many times, but I didn’t care about my own life let alone anyone else’s. Going in and out of prison didn’t scare me either, it was my second home as a teenager.”
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Stu's story
Stu Otten, Causeway’s Head of Criminal Justice Services, knows how important second chances can be. As a child, Stu endured severe bullying that led trauma, stress, and mental health problems. He sought solace in a local kickboxing club, however it was a path that led him into Liverpool's criminal underworld, and a cycle of violence and incarceration.
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Leia's story
"If I had never met a Causeway navigator in the custody suite, I know I wouldn’t be sitting where I am today." Leia's unstable home life meant she had no one to turn to when she became homeless and suicidal following an arrest. Causeway's team helped put a roof over her head and give her hope for the future.
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Declan's story
"If things had been better in my childhood, life would be more stable for me now, but luckily for me, Mark from Causeway was my good advice fairy! He helped put a stop to my cycles of low moods, low self-esteem, and depression." Declan's chaotic home life and mismanaged ADHD left him with volatile emotions he found difficult to control. Thanks to support from Causeway's crime and violence reduction services, he is able to face his future with confidence.
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Karl's story
"I’ve come to understand that I needed this experience in my life to teach me how to be a better man." Karl's arrest left him bitter and confused about how to move forward, but support from Causeway saw a transformation in Karl's emotional mindset and approach to life, that has allowed him to look to the future with positivity.