THU: Workshop to explore possible ways to increase Prison students’ engagement in Higher Education (Eileen Mansfield)
Cloud created by:
Dr Simon Ball
4 February 2014
Engagement in Higher Education can be problematic for students who are serving prison sentences. Problems faced by such students range from a lack of suitable opportunities to study in Higher education (due to the preponderance of vocational courses available); lack of tutor support; prospect of being moved to new facilities at very short notice (e.g. 12 hours’ notice); prison security routines; lack of facilities such as computers and lack of internet connectivity. The lack of internet connectivity presents a growing problem for prison students since Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses are increasingly becoming online courses rather than distance learning courses with text books and materials sent to students to complete their studies.
The question could be asked: Why is it important that people incarcerated in prison should have access to the Higher Education system? Research has shown that appropriate education within prison populations reduces recidivism on release and allows ex-offenders to become more employable (Wilson, Gallagher and MacKenzie, 2000;Torre, 2001; Vacca, 2004) and moreover builds self-esteem and self-awareness in prisoners, enabling them to change their attitude to crime and ‘transform their lives’ (Bhatti, 2010:36). Recidivism is defined as an ex-offender being arrested or imprisoned within three years of release (Kim and Clark, 2013); with no gender differences (Mears, Cochran and Bales 2012). This is important not only for the individual themselves and their families, but also to society since the cost to the UK taxpayer in the year 2010-2011 to keep one prisoner for one year was £39,573 (National Offender Management Service,2011).
This workshop aims to explore ways that prison students may be able to benefit more from online courses by making some aspects of the suitable for studying either via a secure Intranet site or as stand-alone resources and materials.
Participants are invited to explore these stand-alone resources and materials and provide feedback about their usability and suitability for the target audience. A further aspect which the presenter would like feedback for is the usability for disabled students who might also benefit from these resources.
You can download the poster for this session from:
Dr Simon Ball
09:14 on 5 February 2014