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Education in prisons: learning the hard way

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Education in prisons: learning the hard way

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A recent report by the RAND Corporation found that educating people in prison can cut re-offending by around 43 percent. In this edition of Learning World we explore how education in jail can make a difference.

In our first story, from Mexico, we look at how American football has transformed the lives and prospects of young criminals.

The Panteras team brings together prison staff and inmates into an all-conquering unit that has won the Mexico City American football league.

It reflects a new approach by the authorities to dealing with hardened teenage offenders. They are succeeding not just on the field, but in the classroom as well, thanks to an innovative education programme.

Could giving prisoners a chance to break free of strict prison rules be a way of rehabilitating them? That is the question in our second report, from Greece.

We look at how the Second Chance project in Greece is giving people who had given up on education hope for a new start in life.

Apart from impressive academic results, the initiative has reduced re-offending rates and raised the self-esteem of many prisoners.

We take the educator’s perspective in our third story with a look at the efforts by an inspiring teacher to transform the lives of an often unwilling prison population.

Aude Simeon has been giving literature classes in a French jail for 15 years. In that time her work has helped those on the margins to reintegrate into society.

However, hers is a constant battle for hearts and minds as many, including inmates themselves, prove difficult to convince of the merits of education on the inside of prison walls.

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