The British Convict Criminology ‘Making Links’ programme, led by Criminology lecturers Dr Andreas Aresti and Dr Sacha Darke, has been running since 2016. The project, in collaboration with Jose Aguiar, Education Consultant at HMP Pentonville, enabled 15 Westminster students, called ‘outside learners’, to go and study once a week in the prison library with 15 inmate students from HMP Pentonville, the ‘inside learners’.
This programme was made possible thanks to Dr Martin Doherty, Head of the Department of History, Sociology and Criminology, as well as thanks to the great support from the Westminster Outreach team, particularly Rosie Reynolds.
On 13 December, the end of the 10-week module was celebrated during a graduation ceremony enabling inside and outside learners to receive rewards for the hard work they performed during the programme. A family member or friend for both inside and outside learners could also attend the ceremony taking place in the Chapel of the prison.
This programme provided Westminster students from the Sociology and Criminology BA Honours and the Criminology BA Honours courses with an insight and a tangible experience for their future careers while bringing education to prisoners.
It mainly focused on developing links between university students studying inside and outside prison, provided a learning environment in which prisoners and undergraduate students study on equal terms, and developed insider standpoint and knowledge in the discipline of Criminology.