Greenwich scholars Dr Giulia Zampini and Dr Camille Stengel (School of Law and Criminology) were involved in a research study evaluating student experiences of undergraduate modules taught inside prisons. Both academics evaluated a prison-university partnership with HMP Swaleside (a men’s prison) and the University of Kent, who run a final year undergraduate criminology module in Swaleside for both University of Kent students and men inside the prison.
This partnership is based on the global educational initiative known as the Inside Out Prison Exchange Programme. The Inside Out module involves an equal mix of ‘inside’ students (people in prison) and ‘outside’ students (people at university) studying alongside each other in the prison environment for one academic term. The second part of the research study involved colleagues from the University of Kent, evaluating the optional level five Inside Out module run in partnership with the University of Greenwich and HMP Downview (a women’ prison). Inside and outside students were interviewed twice: once before the modules started in order to gauge their expectations of the class, and a second time after the module ended.
Inside and outside students in the prison-university partnerships highlighted several key benefits they experienced during the Inside Out classes, including a feeling of connectedness across and among difference via their exposure to different view and opinions, increased confidence in their academic skills, and a more enhanced understanding of the criminal justice system. One University of Greenwich student said that Inside Out: “creates the kind of learning that couldn’t happen anywhere else”. A summary of the research findings can be found in the research briefing that was presented during a School of Law and Criminology Research Lunch in November 2019. The research evaluation was funded by the Peter Harris Trust and the University of Kent Faculty of Social Sciences Faculty Research Fund.
Congratulations to Dr Giulia Zampini and Dr Camille Stengel for the outcome of your collaboration and for stealing the spotlight!