Literature review education in prisons

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USQ is developing and piloting a version of our Learning Management System (LMS) called Self-contained Moodle (an internet-independent version of the USQ student’s StudyDesk) that can operate independently without needing an internet connection. SAM will enable students to view and use the course materials and learning support features of the USQ LMS in a simulated online environment without having any possibility of gaining access to the internet. We are also investigating using eBook readers, which have no wireless or 3G connectivity capabilities, for students to access course and reference materials in order to extend learning beyond the computer lab and into personal and leisure time (for example, after routine daily lock-down). This paper presents an overview of the project and discusses some of the issues and early findings encountered.

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Literature review education in prisons

  1. 1. Technological Innovations in Prison Education A work in progress presentation Angela Murphy Australian Digital Futures Institute
  2. 2. <29000 people across Australiaare spending tonight in prison
  3. 3. <29000 people across Australia are spending tonight in prison 175 Increase from 137 per 100,000 170 in 1997 to 167 in 2011 165 160 155 1502001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 a) Rate per 100,000 adult population
  4. 4. <29000 people across Australia are spending tonight in prison 175 Increase from 137 per 100,000 170 in 1997 to 167 in 2011 165 22% 160 Growth proportionately faster 155 than general population 150 In 2006-07 Australian prisons cost $2.3 billion to run, an average cost2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 per prisoner per day of $245 a) Rate per 100,000 adult population
  5. 5. Most prisoners are severelysocially and economicallydisadvantaged • Lower socioeconomic status • Poor health • High unemployment • Low levels of education
  6. 6. Most prisoners are severelysocially and economicallydisadvantaged • Lower socioeconomic status • Poor health • High unemployment • Low levels of educationNSW Parliamentary Inquiry into theIncrease in Prisoner Population (2002): • 60% not functionally literate or numerate; • 60% did not complete year 10; • 64% have no stable family; • 60% of males and 70% of females had a history of illicit drug use.
  7. 7. Recidivism and post-release datais difficult to measureResearchers guess that ‘yearlyflow is around 50,000 as themajority are serving sentencesof less than 12 months
  8. 8. Recidivism and post-release datais difficult to measureResearchers guess that ‘yearlyflow is around 50,000 as themajority are serving sentencesof less than 12 monthsFor every 100 released, 60 willreturn
  9. 9. Recidivism and post-release datais difficult to measureResearchers guess that ‘yearlyflow is around 50,000 as themajority are serving sentencesof less than 12 monthsFor every 100 released, 60 willreturn32 will return in 2 years
  10. 10. Recidivism and post-release datais difficult to measureResearchers guess that ‘yearlyflow is around 50,000 as themajority are serving sentencesof less than 12 monthsFor every 100 released, 60 willreturn32 will return in 2 yearsFor prisoners participating ineducation, this drops to 23
  11. 11. Barriers to Prison Education• Views that prisons are primarily places of correction, not training• Lack of funding, support and facilities within prisons• High costs of textbooks, prisoners earn about $20 a week• Frequent and unexpected transfers between prisons• Short sentences (under 3 years)• Age and gender (older prisoners and re-offenders more inclined to study)• Previous negative experiences with education …… Policies of higher education institutions
  12. 12. • Increased movement of higher education institutions towards online course provision• Large number of institutions are withdrawing support for incarcerated students and eliminating exceptions handling processes• Access to the internet in prison is prohibited• Results in further exclusion of the already socially excluded• Choice of courses increasingly influenced by extent to which course requires internet access
  13. 13. Government policies & Processes Community - Security constraints - Negative perceptions - Power & perceptions - Fears - Budgets and resources - Victims Real world challenges - Tangible restrictions on future employment - Difficulties inherent to reintegration - Digital, social & communication divide - Temptations of previous lifestylesSource: Conole, G. (2009) A framework for e-learning policy. Retrieved from e4innovation.com
  14. 14. Prison education needs to move forwards to meet 21st Century learningSource: Conole, G. (2008) New Schemas for Mapping Pedagogies and Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue56/conole/
  15. 15. Prison education needs to move forwards to meet 21st Century learning • Thinking and reflection • Conversation and interaction • Experience and activity • Evidence and demonstrationSource: Conole, G. (2008) New Schemas for Mapping Pedagogies and Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue56/conole/
  16. 16. Pedagogy Incorporate experience & active learning Challenges & Barriers Key success factorsMeasurement & evaluation Overcome exceptions handling Change perceptions Technology Barriers & Risks
  17. 17. Research Project Scope• Literature review of current initiatives in Australia to improve access to online / electronic / interactive learning experiences and enhance access to tertiary education opportunities• Compare local to international initiatives in countries such as the US , UK and Europe (where prisoners are permitted access to the internet)• Classify initiatives according to focus, use of technology, underlying pedagogies and evaluation criteria
  18. 18. Examples of current initiativesTasmania & Moodle:• Tasmania Prison Service & Tasmanian Polytechnic developed a highly secure terminal ICT network• Using e-learning software, this network allows secure communication between teachers in the Polytechnic and students in the prison• Although students are unable to access the Internet, the network enables the teachers to provide students with digital copies of approved sitesN.S.W. :• Prisoners’ permitted access to Internet sources from computer labs.• Intranet system that puts appropriate limits on the information that can be accessed online. Prisoners will only be able to visit sites approved by prison management
  19. 19. Examples of current initiativesTRULINCS:• Initiative underway by Federal Bureau of Prisons in US to provides inmates with the capability to send and receive electronic messages without having access to the InternetUK – Open University:• Trial conducted with 9 students undertaking a computer sciences course using Moodle to deliver course contentSkien High Security Prison, Norway:• Prisoners have access to computers in the classroom and individual computers in their cells.• Addressed the issue of security by installing firewalls that maintain security protocols, while allowing limited access to the Internet and resources that promote educational aims.
  20. 20. Examples of current initiativesUnderwayTrial using contained Moodle and eBook readerswith prisons at Southern QueenslandCorrections centre studying TPP 7120Proposed:Development of a USQ Diploma and DegreePathway using Portable Learning Environmentsfor Incarcerated Adult Distance EducationStudents
  21. 21. “From a scholarly perspective, prison education reduces recidivism, enhances life skills, and is a cost-effective method of crime reduction…” But from a humane and ethical perspective, prison education allows those who want to change their lifestyle the opportunity to do so.” Christopher Zoukis , former prisoner and contemporary authorSource: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/8/prweb8703640.htm /
  22. 22. References• Brown, D. (1998). Prisoners. Hot Topics: Legal Issues in Plain Language, 67. 1-28. Retrieved from http://www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/hot_topics/pdf/prisoners_67.pdf• Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Prisoners in Australia 2011. ABS Canberra. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/4F70D521F641D21ECA25795F000DB1FA?opendocument• Australian Institute of Criminology. (2008). Reducing recidivism through vocational education and training programs. AICrime reduction matters (65), 61-80. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/crm/61-80/crm065.aspx• Callan V. & Gardner, J. (2007). The role of VET in recidivism in Australia, in Dawe S (ed), Vocational education and training for adult prisoners and offenders in Australia : research readings. Adelaide: NCVER: 27-36.• Giles, M., Le, A.T., Allan, M., Lees, C., Larsen A., & Bennett, L. (2004). To train or not to train: The role of education and training in prison to work transitions. NCVER. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/1532.html• Koudstaal, D., Cianchi, J., Knott, M. & Koudstaal, M. (2009). Creating Cooperatively with all Stakeholders an Advanced and Highly Secure ICT Learning Network for all Inmates within Existing Cultural Prison Practices. Paper presented at the ACEA/Reintegration Puzzle, Perth WA Australia. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.eurodl.org/?article=410• Kinner, S.A. (2006). The post-release experience of Prisoners in Queensland. Australian Institute of Criminology: Canberra. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/2/5/4/%7B25483C2E-ECFE-406D-AFC7- D234774A2B58%7Dtandi325.pdf• Lappin, H.G. (2009). Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) - Electronic Messaging. U.S. Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Prisons. http://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5265_013.pdf. Retrieved 18 April 2012 from http://www.acea.org.au/Content/2009%20Papers/Koudstaal_2009.pdf• Salane, F. (2008). Distance education in prisons: an educational right or a privilege? The case of “student inmates”. Distances et savoirs. Hors série, 1-7. Retrieved 18 April 2012 http://www.distanceandaccesstoeducation.org/contents/DS2008-Salane- English.pdf• Sanford, R. & Foster, J.E. (2006). Reading, writing, and prison education reform?: The tricky and political process of establishing college programs for prisoners: perspectives from program developers. Equal Opportunities, 25( 7), 599 – 610.• Watts, J. H. (2010). Teaching a distance higher education curriculum behind bars: Challenges and opportunities. Open Learning, 25(1), 57-64.

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