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13 October: International Day of Education in Prisons

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© Prison Radio Association
11 October 2019

Two new UIL publications on prison education

Not only does prison education reduce recidivism and the financial and social costs of reoffending, it gives prisoners an opportunity to overcome disadvantage, to build new and different lives and to contribute fully to society.

UNESCO recognizes that education is a human right to which all people are entitled, regardless of their background or circumstances. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has actively supported prison education since it led preparations for the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA V) in 1997, putting prison education firmly on the agenda of the global education policy community.

Five years ago, the International Day of Education in Prison was created to mark the 25th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s adoption of a set of recommendations outlining the needs and responsibilities concerning the education of imprisoned persons in Europe, on 13 October 1989. The day is an important opportunity to highlight the benefits of prison education, consider the barriers and reflect on how it can best be promoted.

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has been working on two publications on this important topic. The first, Books beyond bars: The transformative potential of prison libraries, by Lisa Krolak, has just been published in English and will soon be available in French and German.

This will be followed by a special issue of the International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning, entitled ‘Education in prison: A basic right and an essential tool’ to be published by the end of October. One of the articles, ‘The Prison Education Project’ by Renford Reese, is already free to download as one of this month’s Editor’s Choice open access articles.

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