The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 years.

Our awards receive over 7,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work towards positive achievements and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors – showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

We have no endowment or capital – our work depends entirely on donations.

Read more about us

  • Film and Animation

Me Animate, Stockton Hall Hospital, Roger Graef Highly Commended Award for Animation, 2017

Film and Animation

In prisons and other secure settings, animation and film workshops are usually led by external organisations who bring in their expertise and equipment. It’s a great way of using different people’s skills and interests and encouraging people to work together to create an artwork.

The Koestler Awards receive more Animation entries than Film, because animation naturally avoids the security and confidentiality risks that Film projects can run. However, many of the Film entries submitted to the Koestler Awards creatively deal with the restrictions that being inside a secure environment entail, and how people deal with this challenge can lead to exciting outcomes.