Freedom to learn and study while in prison can have a significant impact to the lives of prisoners while serving their sentence and to productive lives after release…
Good news?! There was a rare positive piece of prison news last week, as government research into prison education showed that prisoners who spend their time studying through distance learning are significantly more successful in securing work after release. The cost of funding prison education courses is tiny when compared with the cost of re-offending.
During my pastoral ministry training, with a Free Church denomination (CF) I had the privilege of serving alongside a prison chaplain in Gloucestershire. The work I did there and the amazing people I met, had a profound influence on my life, Christian witness and attitudes to life, learning and love. As the Education Assistant with the FCG, I have seen first hand the power of learning in later life, to transform all sorts of people. As church-folk, we have a unique and awesome responsibility to find ways of contributing to this.
What could you do? Please feel free to get in touch with me or Revd Bob Wilson at FCG to find out more about how you can get involved.
The Free Churches Group support prisons and Free Church chaplaincies across the nation. You can read more about this work HERE. In a compelling article, Rod Clarke, the chief executive of the Prisoners’ Education Trust, champions the power of learning inside, to help men and women who are serving time to grow and develop and flourish on release. You can read the full article as featured in the Times Educational Supplement HERE.
Good news indeed!
Revd Sara Iles, Education Assistant, Free Churches Group
(Photo courtesy of Sunyu on Unsplash)