Education can turn inmates’ lives around

The prison in Jurby

The prison in Jurby

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Cuts in the prison education budget have not had an impact on the number of inmates taking lessons to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

In the House of Keys earlier this year it was revealed the prison’s education budget has been cut by almost half over the last five years.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson says a consistently high percentage of prisoners (45 to 50 per cent) are engaging in lessons to improve English, maths and computer skills, as well as in sessions on personal and social education, cookery, art and craft.

Two prisoners got grade As in IGCSE English last year and up to six are expected to take IGCSEs in November.

Mr Watterson said: ‘Improving prisoners’ basic education and practical skills makes a positive difference to their ability to settle back into the community on their release.

‘It’s essential offenders are appropriately dealt with for their crimes but keeping them locked up all day is not usually the answer. Encouraging them to improve their skills so they can get a job and contribute to society is a proven way of turning lives around.’

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