The Effect of Recent Policy Changes on the Ability of Prison Education to Meet Learners’ Needs

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OLASS 3 ‘V’ OLASS 4

The effect of recent policy changes on the ability of prison education to meet learners’ needs.

By

Amanda Wheldrick

Contents

AbstractPage 3

IntroductionPage 4

What is Offender Learning?Page 5

Reducing Reoffending Through Skills and Training. Page 8

BibliographyPage 12
Abstract
This assignment is the second module covered on the BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Developement; it is the first piece of writing that is required for the IRAW (Introduction to Academic Writing).

Finding research material proved somewhat troublesome for, I can only presume, security reasons as well as data protection and confidentiality. Working within the High Security Estate it will always be a difficult area to gain access to information and be given permission to write about it. Tracy Irwin quotes:-

Within the prison structure education is posited as one of the key rehabilitative regimes yet this are has been under researched (Reuss 2003; Bayliss 2003)

Therefore I chose to concentrate on two specific documents that were written and commissioned by the Government and a factsheet that was used as supporting material for one of the documents. I did spend a lot of time reading through journals and papers but none of them were relevant to the area of research that I want to focus on.

My review begins by looking at the Green Paper that was commissioned by the Government in 2005. The paper covers many areas where facts and figures suggest that the Government need to provide investment and support. Introduction

According to the report presented to Parliament by the Secretary of Education and Skills in 2005 called Reducing Reoffending through Skills and Employment, there is need to address the factors that are influencing an offender to re-offend. The Green Paper sets out an agenda for how offenders can be better trained and helped into getting jobs.

This paper recognises the need to deal with the range of factors which lead some offenders into a cycle of repeat offending. This cycle carries a considerable cost to the Exchequer: a re-offending former prisoner costs the criminal justice system an average of £65,000 up to the point of re-imprisonment and £40,000 each year in prison. On top of this, there are often unquantifiable costs to the victims of crime and their communities.

The main objective to this piece of work is to find out whether the education and training that was provided under the OLASS 3 (Offender Learning and Skills Service) contract was successful, and if not, what where the reasons were for it failing and if, when the changes that are being suggested are implemented they will have the desired effect on the learners.

There are very few articles on offender learning. However there are also a couple of other articles that have been written with regards to education and inclusion which should be considered when looking at what is provided within offender learning. I have concentrated on three main articles, one of which sets out a proposal for reducing reoffending, one of which is in response to that and one that directly looks at the attitudes of offenders in education. These combined with my case studies and quantitative information, will form my research proposal. My research and literature review are going to be based on the move from the OLASS 3 contract to the OLASS 4 contract. However this does not happen until August 2012 and therefore is not something that I will be able to measure fully. What is Offender Learning?

Punishment will always be a primary aim of the criminal justice system, but the Government needs to do more to reduce re-offending by improving the skills and education of offenders, which will support them in to leading productive lives, in the communities in which they live.

Offender learning takes place in a college within a secure setting. There is no difference to the...
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