The Faculty of Human Behaviour recently invited awareness raising organisation ‘True Life Conferences’ in to deliver their ‘Life Behind Bars’ conference to psychology, sociology, law and criminology students at the college.
Students were educated on the prison system and given the unique opportunity to spend the day with former offenders who have spent time in prison to discuss their lives, offences and time in prison.
The day raised issues such as what the purpose of prison is, if and how we can rehabilitate offenders, how long sentences should be and how offenders can struggle with life after prison. The question the course encouraged the group to answer was:
“Are our prisons and young offender institutes a place for punishment, retribution or rehabilitation?”
Criminology subject leader Jenny Macauley-Wilde said:
“We run this event every year and always receive positive feedback from both staff and students. At points all involved were genuinely moved by the stories we were hearing and this has had a positive long-term impact on the students. We find they talk about the day for weeks after and are able to apply the knowledge gained during the day to their studies.”
Students involved gave feedback on the unique experience.
“It was really interesting hearing about different people’s experiences of prison and how they feel about the consequences of their crimes.”
“The day gave a really good insight into what life is like as a criminal.”
“It was really enjoyable and brought our studies to life. It was really beneficial to our course.”