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learning together

Middlesex University is a part of the Learning Together initiative established by Cambridge university to bring university students together with in prison students to study together.

Middlesex University will teach a Criminology module at HMP Wandsworth as part of the ‘Learning Together’ network initiative. The Learning Together approach brings together students from universities and from within prisons to learn together, and learn from one another, in an innovative method of knowledge exchange and discussion.  More information on learning together can be found here.

The ‘Learning Together’ initiative involves a group of university academics delivering teaching and learning in prisons and which is recognised and endorsed by the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET). Several universities are involved in Learning together, which is linked to intentions to improve and expand education opportunities for people in prison.

The module will comprise a total of 20 students (10 from Middlesex University and 10 from HMP Wandsworth). The teaching sessions are delivered and facilitated by academic staff of Middlesex University. Each teaching and learning session involves small group discussions co-ordinated by a team of five group facilitators.

This module uses the criminal justice system to examine contemporary issues and debates relating to crime control, the criminal courts and sentencing, and theories of punishment and imprisonment. The prison element of the module takes a comparative perspective to assist an understanding of different progressive approaches in other countries, and whether they provide ideas for alternative policies in this area. As such the module focuses on the criminal justice system as a series of interlinked institutions in which ideas of rehabilitation, system reform, and social justice are embedded. The module will provide students with a unique experience that involves reflection on the learning journey and the meaning of learning with, and from others. As such the students studying on this module are participating in the co-creation of a model of learning that supports and develops students’ capacities for critical engagement with knowledge (evaluation and synthesis) through dialogue and in-class exchange of perspectives and ideas.

Middlesex Students and Staff at end of course award ceremony- HMP Wandsworth

*“Overall I think it was fantastic.  …one of the main things that drew me to it was the fact that it was going to be this very immersive experience that had two elements of society that don’t necessarily overlap very frequently.” (NK, Middlesex University, PhD)
*“This kind of experience is not replaceable…from talking to those students (Wandsworth)…that is something I could never get from a book…” (Middlesex University, PhD)

Recent debate at HM Wandsworth with the PRG

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