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23 May 2024

Groundbreaking Scheme to Teach Law and Criminology to Prisoners

Prisoners are being offered the chance to study law and criminology with the aim of inspiring them to continue with education.

Wrexham University, in partnership with HMP Berwyn, is running a Law and Criminology course for prisoners, which aims to get them engaged with education, with the hope that the programme will give them the confidence to enrol onto further courses in the future.

The course will introduce learners to key elements of the criminal justice system and the basics of criminal law. They will learn about the criminal justice system, covering topics such as the police, the court system, the role of lawyers, criminal offences, sentencing and the prison and probation service.

The programme, accredited by the university, is set at Level 4 and will replicate as much of the content from the Law and Criminology degree course as possible.

The module will be assessed through a critical debate at the end of the course, which learners will prepare for as the module progresses, rather than a written assignment.

Dr Jo Prescott, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wrexham University, said:

“It is well known that education is crucial in preventing re-offending.

“We are delighted to be offering this new course to prison learners at HMP Berwyn, which aims to give them a good understanding of the criminal justice system. What’s key here is that due to the learners’ own lived experience, they will already have some knowledge of the criminal justice system, which we hope will help them to make sense of their environment and how they can look toward a life outside of crime.

“At Wrexham University, we are proud of being an inclusive and welcoming institution. We hope that this course helps to maximise learners’ potential and future employment prospects. This is widening access and participation in its truest form.”

Polly Hernández, Lecturer in Law at Wrexham University, said:

“We are extremely proud to be delivering this new course, in partnership with HMP Berwyn, and are thrilled with how the learners have responded to it so far.

“The power of education is truly transformative and can be a catalyst for change, providing the potential for individuals to turn their life around. They just need that opportunity in the first place, and we are thrilled to be able to provide it.

“In the future, we are hoping to deliver the course at an introductory level, to ensure that all prisoners are given an opportunity to apply to do the course.”

Chad Harper, Learning, Skills and Employment Manager at HMP Berwyn, added:

“For these prison learners there are a multitude of reasons that they have not engaged with education previously.

“Completing this course may be one of very few, or even the first qualification they achieve. This could have a positive impact on them personally and we hope will give them the confidence to enrol onto further courses.”

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