Report from the European Prison Education Association

Article excerpt

It has just been announced that the 11th European Prison Education Association (EPEA) International Conference will take place in Dublin, Ireland from the 13th to 17th June 2007. Further details and an application form will be available in September 2006. Regular updates will be available at www.epea.org.

Iceland is hosting a Nordic conference entitled Captivating Prison Cultures In May. 100 participants mainly from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland will attend. The conference will focus on the importance of cultural activities in prison. It will address themes such as the role of the Internet and Communications Technology for future prison education, prison artwork, prison libraries and the culture of prison and prisoners.

The 6th European Conference of Directors and Co-ordinators of Prison Education will take place in Prague, Czech Republic in September. It is being organised by the Prison Service of the Czech Republic, in association with the EPEA. The conference is for those who administer or manage prison education at national or state level.

The government of the United Kingdom has delivered a Green Paper Reducing Re-offending through Skills and Employment, produced by the Department for Education and Skills, the Home Office and Department for Work and Pensions.

The Forum on Prisoner Education is a United Kingdom-based charity which alms to 'advance the quality, availability and consistency of education and training within the criminal justice system'. It believes that "education in prisons should be centred on the needs of the individual prisoner, for whom it can hold the key to living without crime by building self-esteem, encouraging self-motivation, and providing new opportunities." Members of the Forum include prison education staff and managers, current and former prisoners, academics, campaigners, judges and parliamentarians.

The Forum has just produced two publications which may be of interest to correctional educators internationally. Internet Inside outlines a succinct and clear argument for the rationale behind and necessity for prison students to have access to the Internet. Copies can be downloaded from www.fpe.org.uk.

The Forum has recently published a second edition of Prison(er) Education, edited by its Director, Steve Taylor. The new collection of essays considers the past, present, future and efficacy of prisoner education. Contributions from politicians, campaigners, tutors, academics and prisoners themselves examine a range of issues including the politics of prisoner education, how basic skills help ex-prisoners after release, prison teacher training, and whether prisons offer the education that prisoners want. …