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Positive steps forward education and training in prisons


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Presentation by Karen Adriaanse following research into In Custody Evaluation Agenda for National Careers Service - West Midlands. The associated report is entitled - Inspiration in Custody"
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Positive steps forward education and training in prisons

  1. 1. Positive steps forward Karen Adriaanse Senior Associate 22 March 2018
  2. 2. Inspiration in Custody in the WM 2017/18  Motivational courses and speaker events  Courses for employment and business start-ups  Job fairs 42 events overall; 15 different types of events; 16 specialist providers reaching 724 prisoners Wide range of special projects involving 277 prisoners and 28 staff. Just over 1000 attendances by prisoners.
  3. 3. Evaluating the activities • seven focus groups with a total of 28 prisoners who have participated in seven different courses on visits to HMP Featherstone, HMP Oakwood and HMP Hewell • one focus group at HMYOI Brinsford with four members of prison staff who had participated in a one-day training event • the review of completed evaluation forms from 20 courses in HMP Featherstone, HMP Oakwood and HMP Hewell, HMP Birmingham, HMYOI Brinsford, covering 10 different providers • interviews with 6 key stakeholders, including prison staff, education managers, employers and managers of the National Careers Service at Prospects.
  4. 4. The teacher was very helpful and understanding and explained everything to us. The tutor was awesome and genuinely hopes things go well for you. They were excellent tutors, and very professional I was inspired by the tutor. Very enthusiastic. The speaker was different – very down to earth. What a powerful speaker! The tutor was very knowledgeable and delivered with energy and passion.
  5. 5. Prisoners’ thoughts on the overall impact of attending the motivational talks:  ‘I have learnt not to give my addiction too much power and to just say no.’  ‘I know I have to get the thought of using drugs out of my head, and I’m now ready to ask for help.’  ‘I’m looking forward to working with New Leaf to improve my life and help others in the future.’  ‘For me, it’s all about finding solutions – as it was for the speaker. I’ve already learnt that I need to control my reactions. If I see my brother, I’ll walk away.’
  6. 6. Prisoners’ thoughts on the overall impact of attending the motivational courses: ‘‘The course has made me feel that I can achieve what I want to achieve. It helped my mental state of mind.’ ‘Since this course, I have already changed my attitude and behaviour. I will never fulfil my dream if I continue to make trouble. So I’ve learnt to control my temper and concentrate on planning for my future.’ ‘The more you give the more you get out. This course has driven me to take up other courses, such as anger management. I put in much more effort that I would have done previously.’ ‘This course helped me to get into the mental state I needed to be in to benefit fully. It has helped me focus my energies on the right things.’
  7. 7. The impact of the enterprise and business start-up courses on supporting prisoners’ development ‘I feel that running my own business is a real option now and that I’m at least a step closer to planning to planning business.’ ‘You wouldn’t find the information the tutor gave us in text books. This is because the course was very practical and tailored to our individual projects.’ I’ve built up the confidence in making an elevator pitch - a succinct and persuasive sales pitch for my own business. Although this was difficult at first, it was very motivating once I’d done it.’
  8. 8. Special project: the HMP Featherstone choir The most inspirational aspect was getting over the fear of singing. ‘You have to be strong to do this – the achievement is rewarding and inspirational. I used to think I could only croak.’ ‘Singing in harmonies has meant that we have to work in a team; be a good team player. We’ve all learnt a new skill, and we’ve also all grown as individuals and as a team.’
  9. 9. What next? • Ensuring that all prisoners are aware of the initiative and how it can motivate them and hopefully reduce their chances of reoffending • Measuring the impact of the activities on motivating those not participating in learning and skills and work into taking positive action to improve their skills while in custody, especially those with low levels of English and maths • Measuring the longer-term impact of the initiatives on prisoners in custody and ex-offenders in the community.
  10. 10. Some useful references • Adriaanse, K. (In Press) Review of prison education and training in England and Wales, Exeter: dmh associates • Hughes, D. (2018) Briefing Paper for the Education Select Committee on curtailment of contracts for the National Careers Service in-custody from 1 April 2018, London: House of Commons, February 2018 • Hughes, D. & Adriaanse, K. (In Press) An international literature review: education and training in prisons, London: Prospects Group Services, December 2017 • Hughes, D., & Adriaanse, K. (2018) Adult Education: Important for Health and Well-Being, Coventry, University of Warwick IER on behalf of the Institutes for Adult Learning • Hughes, D., Adriaanse, K., & Barnes, S-A. (2016a) Adult Education: Too important to be left to chance, commissioned by the All Parliamentary Group for Adult Education in England, London: House of Commons, Westminster CONTACT: dmh associates Email: Visit: Tel: 07533 545057 Twitter: @deirdretalks