PICTFOR help launch the report ‘How Computers Can Transform Rehabilitation’

On Tuesday 22nd October, PICTFOR, in partnership with the Penal Affairs APPG, held a launch for the report Through the Gateway: How Computers Can Transform Rehabilitation. The report, written by the Prison Reform Trust and Prisoners Education Trust, examines the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in prisons and its potential as a tool for rehabilitation. The launch event was very well attended and speakers included Rod Clark, Chief Executive of Prisoners Education Trust, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust and Lord Harris of Haringey, PICTFOR Treasurer and Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody.

Attendees at the Computers and Rehabilitation Launch event, House of Commons Committee Room 5, 22nd October 2013.

Attendees at the Computers and Rehabilitation Launch event, House of Commons Committee Room 5, 22nd October 2013.

The report argues that controlled access to computers and the internet can transform education, family contact and resettlement in prisons and reduce reoffending on release. It suggests that carefully assessed prisoners should have access to secure web content and develop skills to use emails and video calls. This would enable them to stay in touch with families and obtain services and support, such as housing, education and employment, to help them desist from crime.

It is based on a survey of prisons sent to prison governors and directors in England and Wales, a focus group of prisoners’ families, prison visits and expert roundtables. Nearly three quarters (74%) of the prison governors and managers who responded to the survey agreed that prisoners should have secure and controlled access to the internet. 94% agreed ICT skills were necessary for everyday living. 67% said that prisoners should be able to set up bank accounts while in prison using ICT.

You can read the full report online here.

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