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Preparing for Employment: Prisoners' Experience of Participating in a Prison Training Programme

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2009 Pages: 117-131
Gillian Hunter; Isabella Boyce
Date Published
May 2009
15 pages
This article presents prisoners' perspectives on participation in a prison employment project.
Results found that prisoners perceived benefits of participation which included accruing qualification and work experience, a fulfilling role relative to other employment opportunities in prison, and increased self-confidence through project activities. Problems of short-term funding for the projects as well as potential for unrealistic expectations about employment chances were also noted. Motivation to participate in the Peer Advisor Project were varied; some noted that doing the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the peer advice work gave structure to their day and increased the social interaction they had with others; participation was described as something worthwhile, and several advisors reported that it was a constructive way to get something positive from their prison experience. The peer housing advice work was perceived by many respondents as a proper job within the prison, one that could lead to further training and employment opportunities. A recurring theme in the interviews was the perception of the peer advisor role as fulfilling, with its emphasis on helping fellow prisoners. Data were collected from 28 offenders (prison and post-release) at 5 prisons in the southeast of England. Table, notes, and references