Prisons: Education

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 28th October 2015.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to promote peer to peer mentoring projects (a) in general and (b) to improve literacy and numeracy in prisons.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

On 8th September, the Secretary of State announced a review of the quality of education in prisons, chaired by Dame Sally Coates. She will work with a panel of experts to produce proposals regarding the improvement of education in prisons and they will be visiting prisons to assess provision first hand.

The review will examine the scope and quality of current provision in adult prisons and in young offender institutions for 18-20 year olds; review domestic and international evidence of what works well in prison education to support the rehabilitation of different segments of prison learners; and identify options for future models of education services in prisons

Peer support is already used in many prisons and is an important part of the rehabilitation process for all the individuals involved. A wide variety of peer support occurs in prisons, including:

  • induction support
  • abstinence support
  • learning and skills support
  • provision of advice
  • mentoring
  • support to vulnerable prisoners
  • advocacy.

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