Students on the Psychology, Criminology & Law and Health & Social Care courses at Stratford-upon-Avon College had the opportunity to learn about life behind bars recently during a session facilitated by True Life Conferences.
The Life Behind Bars conference focused on the prison system and the students took part in discussions about issues surrounding punishment, rehabilitation and the penal system. They also got the chance to hear from speakers who shared their experiences of being in prison.
Psychology lecturer, Shannon Gerrard-Pickering, detailed why the session was so beneficial for the students: “The conference was beneficial because it gave them the opportunity to think about the prison system and how prisons should be run (for example, should prisoners have privileges and does Token Economy work?). Students were encouraged to think about whether we should have capital punishment for certain crimes and whether the prison systems are successful at rehabilitating prisoners back into society or whether the prison environment encourages recidivism. The conference was perfect for all three aspects of the Psychology, Criminology & Law course and was also equally relevant to Health and Social Care – and students could link this back to their courses as a whole.
It was an amazing opportunity for students to hear real-life stories of life behind bars from people who had experienced the prison system. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions in an enlightening Q&A session. Students left for the day feeling really enthusiastic – it was a great enrichment opportunity and it provided them with plenty to think about and relate back to their courses.”
The students found the day extremely engaging and informative. Student Lu Clarke commented: “It was so interesting to see rehabilitation in a different way and to look at it from a different viewpoint.” Lottie Stock added: “It was especially interesting to hear about life in prison from someone who has actually been to prison and to think about new perspectives. It has been incredibly useful for our learning.”