Monday, April 27, 2009

Prisons wot I know

At the start of AA100, I had three students in Lewes prison.

They got on very well together, and it was fun doing a proper group tutorial, which they all participated in intelligently and enthusiastically. They also all, in their individual ways, did well on the course. They get decent marks on assignments; they have plans for continuing. One is thinking of doing philosophy, one philosophy or art history,a nd one art history or criminology.

My group broke up though when one was transferred to Parkhurst, and then a fortnight later another was transferred to Ford. It happens, apparently, on "transfer Tuesday" and the prisoner is given little or no notice, but is just told to tidy up their belongings and get in the van. It must be incredibly disruptive, but both students survived the experience, and have continued with their assignments. I went to visit today. I visited Ford first.

It's an open prison. They do try to remind the staff that there is some security. This sign is in the car park, quite a way from the prison entrance.

Then I went to Parkhurst, being rained on all the way. The ferry over was grim.

And Parkhurst is frightening. Huge horrible concrete walls with no relief. Inside, pictures of the weapons found in various prisoners' cells.

But my prisoner was doing OK, and we discussed his ECA, which he had already started planning, and had some good ideas about.

And the ferry back was much nicer - we even saw some sunshine.


Nogbad said...


Nogbad said...

BTW - Did I mention that you are responsible for finishing the course with the number you started with? ;-)