Insights from the "ask me anything” session on digital education in prisons
13 October marks the International Day of Education in Prisons. On this occasion, guest expert Daiana Huber discussed with the members of the European Digital Education Hub.
Daiana Huber is an expert from the Romanian non-governmental organisation Center for Promoting Lifelong Learning. During the "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session, she highlighted importance of education and meaningful learning experiences for incarcerated individuals. She also shared insights on challenges and opportunities of digital education in the penitentiary system.
Some of the topics emerging from the discussion included:
Access and conditions: access to digital education is prisons varies across EU countries. In some countries, internet use is available but limited and on a restrictive basis, while in others it is not offered at all.
The impact of vocational training: Daiana stressed the complex relationship between vocational training, employability, and recidivism. Overemphasis on skills may neglect broader adult education and citizenship competencies, which are crucial for the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates.
Digital education's potential: Digital education can foster citizenship and community integration. If approached correctly, it can enhance lifelong learning and aiding in the transition from detention to society.
Educational Staff: Prison educators come from varied backgrounds but often lack training in correctional pedagogy and coordinated case management for learners.
Lack of Data and Research: Daiana highlighted the need for more research on the effectiveness and impact of prison education during and after sentences.
Educational Opportunities: Inmates theoretically have access to diverse programs, but actual offerings differ widely from prison to prison.
Incentives and Adapted Tools: Incentive systems exist for accredited programs, offering benefits like reduced sentences. However, the adaptation of digital tools for education is inconsistent.
Digital Citizenship: Digital citizenship is crucial in prison education, empowering inmates with essential digital skills for participation in democratic processes and social life.
This event was part of an on-going series of activities organised by the European Digital Education Hub. The session topics focus on digital education in connection with current issues such as artificial intelligence (AI), European policy development and sustainability.