Brain Cells: Listening to Prisoner Learners (Third edition)

Published: Sep 2014

Clare Taylor - Prisoners' Education Trust

This report summarises the results of a survey prepared by PET and distributed through Inside Time newspaper in September 2013. Respondents to this survey were similar in part to the general prison population, but included a larger proportion of life and indeterminate sentenced prisoners. Because of this we believe the results are particularly important and timely as the Criminal Justice System goes through a period of unprecedented change under the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) agenda. Under TR, short term prisoners are the priority. It is important that longer sentenced prisoners are not side-lined amongst all the changes and that their voices are heard; this report gives space for that to happen. The report highlights positive findings, as well as sharing examples of good practice and improvements since our last report. However, it also highlights many ways learning needs are not being met. The findings will be of particular use to those involved in the management of longer sentenced prisoners in non-resettlement prisons. Our key recommendation is for the development of an overall learning strategy for longer sentenced prisoners. As part of this, our report presents ten key areas for development in order to better meet the needs of this group.