TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION: The transformative effect of university-level learning inside prisons

  • Shadd Maruna

Press/Media: Other

Description

Hannah Thompson, a third-year criminology student at the University of Manchester, says that her department’s partnership with HMP Risley in Cheshire, which started last September, has been very useful.

“For me, criminology is more than a degree. I want to become a researcher myself, and I feel it’s not enough to just go to lectures and seminars to become a criminologist: you have to go out and work with the groups of people you come across in your readings,” she says.

She has been struck by how much she has in common with the inmate-students she has worked alongside. “A lot of the guys are a similar age to me, and we agree on many things, particularly stuff relating to how bad the prison system is – it’s amazing to have what you have read confirmed by them.”

Shadd Maruna, a professor of criminology at Manchester, suggests that learning inside a prison motivates undergraduates such as Thompson to go the extra mile in their studies. But perhaps more importantly, he feels that it helps them to “put a face to a name”, to personalise the effects of the criminal justice policies that they explore in books and seminars. He believes that students on other courses that grapple with social problems could also benefit from being taught in prison because offenders are likely to be at the sharp end of many of the issues that they cover.

Period15 Mar 2018

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleThe transformative effect of university-level learning inside prisons
    Media name/outletTimes Higher Education
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Date15/03/18
    DescriptionHannah Thompson, a third-year criminology student at the University of Manchester, says that her department’s partnership with HMP Risley in Cheshire, which started last September, has been very useful.

    “For me, criminology is more than a degree. I want to become a researcher myself, and I feel it’s not enough to just go to lectures and seminars to become a criminologist: you have to go out and work with the groups of people you come across in your readings,” she says.

    She has been struck by how much she has in common with the inmate-students she has worked alongside. “A lot of the guys are a similar age to me, and we agree on many things, particularly stuff relating to how bad the prison system is – it’s amazing to have what you have read confirmed by them.”

    Shadd Maruna, a professor of criminology at Manchester, suggests that learning inside a prison motivates undergraduates such as Thompson to go the extra mile in their studies. But perhaps more importantly, he feels that it helps them to “put a face to a name”, to personalise the effects of the criminal justice policies that they explore in books and seminars. He believes that students on other courses that grapple with social problems could also benefit from being taught in prison because offenders are likely to be at the sharp end of many of the issues that they cover.
    URLhttps://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/transformative-effect-university-level-learning-inside-prisons
    PersonsShadd Maruna

Keywords

  • education
  • criminology
  • prisons