28 June 2023
As the prison population continues to grow, so does the demand for education in prison. Distance learning courses give people in prison the opportunity to study and achieve academic and professional qualifications that help them prepare for release and achieve a sense of purpose and self-worth.
We know that our courses reduce reoffending and increase employment and, after completing a PET course, over 90% of learners said that they felt able to change their life and do something positive after release.
The prison population has risen by over 5,000 in the last year and staff shortages have meant that people in prison are spending long periods of time in their cells. These issues combined have resulted in a near 50% increase in applications over the last two years. Demand for our support is continuing to increase, but at a pace we cannot match.
The further impact of the cost-of-living crisis has increased our average course cost to just over £400, affecting our ability to support all of those who need our help. Increasing course costs mean that it would cost us £40,000 more than last year to fund the same number of courses.
Unfortunately, that means 150 people who would have been eligible for funding last year haven’t got their chance to study. We really don’t want to have to turn down more potential learners.
With the help of compassionate supporters like you, we can match the rise in demand. Your support will allow us to provide people with educational courses that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. By supporting PET, you will directly impact the lives of learners like Jack, who now has the tools to find work in an area he is passionate about:
Please keep funding courses. I intend to continue studying and will apply for a new course once I complete this one. The money genuinely funds the changing of lives post-conviction for our futures, but actually support us in keeping our minds sharp (and thus valuable to society) in the present time during long sentences.
Please consider donating to our appeal to ensure that no learner gets left behind.
Together, we can transform lives, one learner at a time.
© Prisoners' Education Trust 2023