To provide and foster a clear, strong pathway to rehabilitation through experience-led consultancy, advocacy and administration, facilitating Further and Higher Education in prison.
To provide specialist ‘Through the Gate’ services to allow released students to realise academic success, create a career-driven pathway and achieve a pro-social lifestyle.
Everyone should have access to Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE).
The lived experience and voice of prisoners should inform and drive our work.
People disadvantaged by their educational experience should be encouraged to have high aspirations and successful outcomes.
People from all ethnic backgrounds should be equally and fully represented in Universities.
Higher Education – the Engine of Prisoner Rehabilitation
Within the academic world of prison education, use of the term “rehabilitation” is discouraged. It suggests that people leaving prison have previously been enjoying a life of stability to which they can now return, when in fact many have experienced multiple disadvantages throughout their lives and need support to find a new way of living. Academics refer instead to desistance from crime, re-entry into society, or re-engagement with education.
However, within prison and probation circles, “rehabilitation” is widely used and denotes a successful avoidance of re-offending and a return to prison. Therefore when deciding on a strapline for our new social enterprise, we were faced with a dilemma about terminology, until finding an etymology which gave the term a more relevant meaning for our purpose :
Habilitate (v.) : c. 1600 (transitive) "to qualify," from Medieval Latin habilitatus, Intransitive meaning "obtain necessary qualifications" (1881)
Rehabilitate (v.) c. 1570s, "to bring back to a former condition after decay or damage," Meaning "to restore one's reputation or character in the eyes of others" (1847)
And so, our social enterprise is about enabling our students to obtain qualifications and restore their reputation, hence our goal of “Higher Education as the engine of prisoner rehabilitation”.