Monday, November 27, 2017

Enticing new graduates to become prison guards, British edition

In the U.S., new college graduates are tempted into teaching in under-served schools through Teach for America, and in Britain through Teach First.  Here's a program for prison guards: Unlocked Graduates

Here's a story from The Guardian:

The graduates training as prison officers: 'People think we just turn keys and shout orders'
These are volatile times for prisons in England and Wales, with overcrowding and record levels of violence. Can a new scheme that aims to do what Teach First did in schools change things from the inside?

"Jack is one of the first cohort of Unlocked Graduates, a new, two-year prison-officer training programme modelled on the phenomenally successful Teach Firstscheme, which takes ambitious graduates and, after minimal training, parachutes them into inner-city schools where they are tasked with raising the aspirations of some of the most deprived children in the country.

"Teach First has been the biggest graduate recruiter for the past three years, training more than 1,400 graduates each year. Almost 60% remain in teaching with the rest going out into the world, tasked with building a movement of people leading efforts to tackle educational inequality in schools and beyond. About a fifth of teachers in low-income schools are now Teach First graduates, around 70%of them from elite Russell Group universities. Unlocked Graduates works in the same way and hopes to mirror Teach First’s success inside prisons – and outside, too.
The prison system is, without question, in urgent need of help. Two-thirds of prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded, with the population rising by more than 1,200 places in the 13 weeks since May. It is now higher than at any other point in the past four years. Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures show 68% of prisons are housing more inmates than their “certified normal accommodation” – the limit for ensuring a “good, decent standard”, with some more than 50% over capacity.
"According to a report last month by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons, prisoners are living in cells that are too small, with inadequate ventilation, damaged furniture and unscreened, unhygienic toilets, for up to 23 hours a day. And with almost half of all prisoners returning to prison within a year of release, it is clear that more needs to be done to break the cycle of reoffending."

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