Chancers

BBC (6 x 30 mins)

  • Info

2004 BAFTA Scotland Best Factual

2004 Celtic Film Festival Best Documentary


Chancers is an extremely hard hitting observational documentary series about a unique rehabilitation centre for persistent young offenders in the Scottish Borders.

Chancers follows 21 of Scotland's hardest young criminals, aged between 18-24, as they attend a make or break nine week rehabilitation camp in the Scottish Borders: the Airborne Initiative Course. If they fail they go back to prison. If they graduate in week nine they can wipe their slates clean.

The trainees have over 250 convictions between them and have spent over 80 years in prison. Assault, fraud, theft, multiple joy riding, persistent substance abuse is the kind of CV that gets them to Airborne. They are referred to the course by their local Sheriff Court as part of their probation order. Airborne is the "last chance saloon".

The Airborne course is founded on a cognitive therapy model which aims to reshape these young lives through a combination of classroom based psychology which is then put into practise in the great outdoors.

Nine weeks of learning to make decisions, thinking for themselves, being a team member and weighing up the consequences of their crimes for the first time in their lives will prove beyond many of them.

Some choose to go back to prison, seeing it as an "easier" option. Some are kicked off for abusing the staff and the rules. Some leave to take their chances on the run. BUT some take up the challenge and graduate.