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Westminster hosts fifth #AcademicPrisons Symposium in partnership with Prisoner’s Education Trust

Criminology 3 May 2018

Student speaking at the Prisoners Education Trust Symposium

Criminology students celebrated the collaborative partnership between universities and prisons, and spoke directly to prison governors and the Ministry of Justice with an emphasis on influencing prison education policy.

The symposium mobilised the experience and expertise within Westminster’s networks, Prison University Partnerships in Learning (PUPiL), who facilitate a number of prison/university partnerships across the country, as well as the Prisoner Learning Academic Network (PLAN), who aim to raise the profile, quality and impact at all levels of prison education.

The symposium brought together academics, practitioners, governors, learners and policy-makers to discuss how to meet the challenges and opportunities facing this new landscape at this crucial time. In particular the group explored the implications of the new Ministry of Justice definitions of prison education as: “activities that give individuals the skills they need to unlock their potential, gain employment and become assets to their communities. It should also build social capital and improve the well-being of prisoners during their sentences.”

Student Speaking at the Prisoners Education Trust Symposium
Westminster Student at the 5th Annual Prisoners Education Trust Symposium

Speakers included Dr. Sarah Armstrong, Director of the Scottish Centre for Social Justice Research and Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University, Tess Gale, Ministry of Justice and Phil Novis, Governor of HMP Leicester.

The University of Westminster is a forerunner in collaborative working with prisons, with projects running in HMPs Pentonville, Coldingley and Grendon. To find out more about these projects contact Dr Sacha Darke and Dr Andreas Aresti who run the Making Links Programme at HMP Pentonville and are both members of PLAN and PUPiL and Morwenna Bennallick, of the Prisoners’ Education Trust and University of Westminster. 

Learn more about studying Criminology at Westminster. 


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