Students studying the Criminology BA course at the University of Westminster have had an outstanding opportunity to learn with inmate students at HMP Pentonville.

Dr Andreas Aresti and Dr Sacha Darke, who are leading British Convict Criminology (BCC), undertook the project with Jose Aguiar (Education Consultant at HMP Pentonville).

The project ran for the first time as a pilot last year. This year it is running from 25 January 2017 until 29 March 2017. 15 inmate students from HMP Pentonville study once a week in the prison library with 15 students from University of Westminster. This course is a 10-week programme on prison studies. It will end in a graduation ceremony for all the students.

Ruma Begum, a third year student of the Criminology BA, said: "I was lucky enough to be chosen for this Prison Project, and I can already say it’s going great so far. The experience gained by students from the University of Westminster is rewarding and valuable as we get to socialise and learn with inmate students. It is a gateway for outside students to look at prison conditions and how prisoners are treated. Also, this is a chance for inmates at HMP Pentonville to learn about various topics around prison studies, including Convict Criminology, at a higher education level.

"We are currently going into our fourth week of the project – so far the contents that have been covered are: an introduction to criminology, convict criminology and the history of prisons. The sessions consist of 20 minutes' lecture time, followed by group activities. It is interesting to see the thoughts and views of students at HMP Pentonville Prison when learning about the social issues of the society we live in today. Overall, it is safe to say HMP Pentonville has some bright students and this project is a worthy cause."

Find out more about the Criminology BA course.

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