'Military style' education will boost prisoners' skills
Published: 2nd Aug 2012 15:34:11
Prisoners are to be given 'military style' maths and English lessons to boost their chances of finding work once they are released.
The compulsory courses will consist of 35 hours of lessons over two or three weeks with more help if needed.
The classes will begin in six jails as part of a drive to cut re-offending.
Skills Minister John Hayes said: "We are determined to make prisons places where people learn skills to build lives beyond crime."
The new courses are to be based on a successful programme which gives new military recruits intensive maths and literacy courses relevant to their day-to-day work.
Follow-up research by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education has shown that the courses not only boosted the the recruits' basic skills but their confidence and future careers. This was true even of those who had poor experiences of learning at school.
The jail version of the scheme will start very soon after a prisoner arrives and will be linked to other popular courses like construction or painting and decorating.
Mr Hayes said: "This pilot is about ensuring prisoners are more likely to work than commit crime when they leave.
"Breaking the damaging cycle of re-offending and re-imprisonment will not only turn around the lives of countless prisoners, it will also prevent the suffering of their potential victims and reduce the burden on the taxpayer."
Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "Crime blights lives both for the offender and the victim. That is why we are piloting this programme in prisons so we can give prisoners the basic skills they need to get their lives on track."
Prisoners' basic skills and their learning needs will be assessed at the beginning of their sentences and the courses will start soon afterwards. The new programme stems from a new offender learning strategy developed by the government last year.
Justice Minister Crispin Blunt said the courses could particularly help prisoners on short sentences to "emerge from custody better equipped to be positive citizens rather than return to offending".
Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon said: "Just 36% of people leaving prison go into education, training or employment. Intensive training in basic maths and English linked to vocational courses should be a useful boost.
"However, government ministers must bear in mind the high numbers of people in prison with a learning disability or difficulty and work out how best to respond specifically to their needs."
Starting in August, six jails in north west England will pilot the programme: Manchester, Garth, Kirkham, Lancaster Farms, Styal and Altcourse. It will be rolled out in other prisons if it is successful.
At 05:57:50 in HeadlinesIssues around pensions are back on the front pages, with the Daily Express reporting that people are "topping up" retirement incomes by releasing equity from their properties.
At 05:15:55 in SportRed Bull's Daniel Ricciardo set the pace during an inconclusive wet final practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.
At 05:11:00 in WalesA 21-year-old man has fallen to his death near Mount Snowdon, according to North Wales Police.
At 05:04:45 in Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers have condemned the west Belfast killing of a prominent dissident republican.
At 04:25:00 in HeadlinesThe captain of a South Korean ferry that sank this week said he delayed giving evacuation orders because he feared passengers would "drift away".
At 04:13:32 in PoliticsA government minister has written to schools and local authorities in England urging a more common sense approach to health and safety.
At 03:56:18 in EnglandA 50-year-old gardener accused of having a pump action rifle and ammunition is due to appear before magistrates later.
At 03:47:19 in HeadlinesA Brazilian second division football game has been abandoned after 16 minutes, with one of the teams saying they now have a court order to play in the top division.
At 02:47:25 in BusinessWhether it is for its generous staff bonus or its Christmas advert, John Lewis has recently the been the subject of many good-news headlines. As the partnership celebrates 150 years since it opened its first store in central London how has it transformed?
At 02:35:58 in HeadlinesThe UN has expressed outrage at a deadly attack on one of its bases in South Sudan, saying it could "constitute a war crime".
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. 'Military style' education will boost prisoners' skills [Online] (Updated 2nd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444164/Military-style-education-will-boost-prisoners-skills [Accessed 19th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A government minister has written to schools and local authorities in England urging a more common sense approach to health and safety.
The chair of the panel set up to advise the NHS and ministers on the governance of patient information has told the BBC the Care.data programme was mishandled.
Whether it is for its generous staff bonus or its Christmas advert, John Lewis has recently the been the subject of many good-news headlines. As the partnership celebrates 150 years since it opened its first store in central London how has it transformed?
How do you tell the world about your remote-controlled flying fish toys?
Delivering mail to Scotland's 94 inhabited islands - not to mention hundreds of remote communities in the Highlands - is an expensive business.
A 21-year-old man has fallen to his death near Mount Snowdon, according to North Wales Police.