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Why I'm running for PET
I'm proud to be representing Coracle on a working group at PET's Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA) called ‘Reducing the Digital Divide’. This has the aim “To increase the opportunities for people in prison to use technology for learning to enhance their study experience and to promote greater employability skills”
My first ever half-marathon was Royal Parks, a couple of years ago and I can't wait to run this course again... You donations will give me a massive boost, especially as the legs start to really hurt!
A bit of background
At Coracle we're on a mission: creating a world where no-one is isolated from learning opportunities. For the 87,000 individuals who are living inside prison (the number of people inside has increased 20% since 2002 and doubled since 1993), and for their families, being given a custodial sentence inevitably creates fear, uncertainty and doubt. The role of education on an offenders’ mindset (the topic for my MPhil thesis at Cambs Uni), and of building trust by extending access to learning opportunities and future employment can turn personal tragedy into something that benefits society as a whole. With over 50% of those released re-offending within 12 months and the status quo costing society around £15 billion per year, there is an urgent need for change.
One area where there is a growing awareness of the potential is in public sector prisons for using non-networked devices, for use by offenders either in their cells or in other authorised parts of their establishment. In today’s digital world it is very important to equip prisoners with the skills not only to get a job when they are released but also the skills to cope with everyday life: skills we take for granted as members of the public.
“Free Yourself with Coracle Inside” is a prison specific digital learning and content delivery platform, provided as an app on non-networked devices. In 2017-18, in partnership with University of Cambridge and with support from the Ministry of Justice, we piloted the introduction of non-networked chromebooks across three prison sites, giving prison based students the use of chromebooks, in-cell. The chromebooks enabled strengths to come to the fore and the challenge of the technology promoted a sense of interdependence among the students. Beyond strengthened relationships between students, we saw significant strengthening of relationships between prison staff colleagues and students.
Which brings me back to PET and recognising that if people are going to be rehabilitated in order to go on and contribute to society, we can't rely on simply doing more of the same.
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