UnLtd Bail Out 2024: Adland sent to the slammer for youth incarceration awareness

In total, the event raised over $125,000 which will go towards UnLtd charity partners’ programs to break the cycle of youth incarceration.

On Thursday, 27 June, Yasmar Training Facility in Haberfield was home to 80 Adland leaders who changed into prison overalls and handed over their mobile phones to experience what it’s like being incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility in NSW.

Held for the first time since 2019, UnLtd’s Bail Out 2024 saw inmates interrogated and fingerprinted before getting locked in cells to spend the night on the hard floors of the youth detention centre. The goal of the event was to raise funds for UnLtd’s charity programs, specifically focused on breaking the cycle of youth incarceration. 

Australia is one of the only developed countries that imprison children as young as 10, and currently, 8,982 young people aged 10-17 are under youth justice supervision.

85% of young people aged 10-17 released from sentenced detention return within 12 months.

Whilst First Nations people represent only 4% of the Australian population, 57% of young people in detention are First Nations young people.

As Adlanders walked into the front courtyard of Yasmar, they were greeted by security guards and the warden himself shouting for everyone to put their bags down and get into two lines. 

From there, inmates were interrogated, made to sing, dance, and do starjumps if anyone dared to crack a smile or even fix their hair.

As fingerprints were collected and prison overalls were put on, inmates heard emotional stories from young people with lived experience of incarceration and learnt about better alternatives to prison. The ‘inmates’ then slept the night on the hard floors of the cells in the former detention centre.


In total, the event raised over $125,000 which will go towards UnLtd charity partners’ programs to break the cycle of youth incarceration. The five biggest fundraisers were Justin ‘Curly’ Ladmore, Cathy O’Connor, Nick Bower, Yasmin ‘Yazzimoto’ Sanders, and Paul ‘Siggy’ Sigaloff.



Yasmin Sanders, managing director of Samba TV said: “What an emotional rollercoaster! From the moment we entered the detention centre, it didn’t take long before we felt institutionalised, after experiencing what it feels like to lose all control of your own life, be shouted at and made feel like you’re worth nothing.

“We only spent a night so I can only imagine the impact it would have on young people, some as young as 10 years old, spending years in these facilities. It was eye-opening to hear about the misconceptions around youth incarceration and uplifting to hear that there are better alternatives around that focus on prevention.”

The event also included some cameos from previous ‘inmates’ who returned to the event as Guards. Mark Watt, co-founder of Whitelion ruled the inmates as Chief Warden with Fiona Roberts, Paul Kent, Alexander Sandwith, Chris Freel, and Ricky Chanana bossing the inmates around as Guards.

Stephen Hunt, CEO of UnLtd said the experience was emotional, uncomfortable and exceeded all his expectations.

“The team and I are so grateful to everyone who braved the cold cells, listened generously to those with lived experience and helped raise much-needed funds to keep kids out of jail,” he said.

“I’m confident that everyone who participated will have left the experience with a far deeper understanding of the issue and a desire to do more. There is a lot of work to be done to change the horrendous statistics around youth incarceration.

“Our industry has the potential to make a huge difference by changing perspectives and raising awareness about this important issue. That’s exactly what we plan to do from here!”

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