Prisoners at HMP Full Sutton have graduated after completing a degree-level programme taught within the prison.
Twelve prisoners at the high security prison enrolled as students at Leeds Beckett University, taking part in the Learning Together criminology module at the prison with 11 final-year Leeds Beckett University students.
Topics covered included: why prison is used as punishment and why we punish; the legitimacy of punishment; the sociological and psychological impacts of long-term imprisonment; rehabilitation and desistance and convict criminology.
Jennifer Willis, governor at Full Sutton, opened the graduation ceremony. She said: “I am delighted by the impact that this initiative has had on our men, both in terms of their personal pride, drive, and educational attainment, and the ability to allow people to expand their thinking.
“I am equally pleased about the impact this has had on the perceptions that people outside of the walls have of people within custody.”
Shaun Williamson, head of security at HMP Full Sutton, said: “I am a firm believer that prisoners who are serving long sentences should have access to a wide range of activities which assist in stimulating thought, and providing opportunity to grow and progress.”
Dr Bill Davies, co-leader of the Prison Research Network at Leeds Beckett and Senior Lecturer in Criminology, said: “The Learning Together project gives prisoners the opportunity to learn at a higher level.”