Kate Parker

How prison education changed in lockdown


A lack of access to technology combined with policymakers’ failure to prioritise inmates’ needs means prison educators are facing an uphill struggle to keep rehabilitation and vocational programmes going during the pandemic, finds Kate Parker

How prison education changed in lockdown

Emma* is a functional skills manager across a number of providers. She’s been going into work during the coronavirus pandemic, but things have been different; she doesn’t have any face-to-face contact with her students, and can only speak to them over the phone.

Some of those students are really struggling, like 24-year-old Alex*. He is desperate to get his qualifications and move forward with his life, but his mental health – which was already poor pre-Covid – is worse than ever. He spends 23 hours a day looking at the same four walls, doesn’t have access to a laptop – or even the internet ...

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