News and events

In the media

The Guardian: What I learned from my semester studying with prisoners

Criminology 13 March 2019

Zac Nahouli, PhD student in Psychology, wrote an article for The Guardian about his semester studying with prisoners at HMP Pentonville.

Zac spent a semester on Westminster’s ‘Making Links’ programme, run by Dr Andreas Aresti and Dr Sacha Darke, to provide a direct link between prisons and Higher Education. The course enables Westminster students, called ‘outside learners’, to act as academic mentors for the inmates, called ‘inside learners’.

He explained: “Like many, my only ‘experience’ of prisons had been what I’d seen in the media. It’s usually depicted as a dangerous environment; this is such a permeating view in society that, when I told people I was visiting a prison, they mostly urged me to be careful. But this wouldn’t be an accurate way to describe the experience I had, or the inmates I met.”

He also spoke about the ongoing problem of violence in prisons and what can be done to improve this, saying: “Prisons are full of people with potential. And what use is prison if released inmates go on to reoffend? If we want to improve our society, a top priority should be to provide opportunities for the disadvantaged so they can help change it for the better.”

Read the full article on The Guardian.

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

For the media

For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.