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Education in Brussels’ prisons

Education in Brussels’ prisons

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Education in Brussels’ prisons

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  1. Education in Brussels’ prisons EPEA Malta conferenceContribution Wim Ipers

  2. She says: ‘by the tone of your last letter, you should get out more

  3. Sint-Gillis

  4. Sint-Gillis

  5. Vorst

  6. Berckendael

  7. Sint-Gillis/Vorst/Berckendael

  8. in a nutshell • 1 of 29 Belgian centres for ‘basic’ education, state-funded • Target group: adults with limited formal education • Different modular and certified courses: Dutch for foreigners (NT2)/Literacy and numeracy in Dutch (NT1)/Basic maths/ICT/basic English and French/social topics • Created in 1988, over 2000 students in 2011 • Very extensive network

  9. in prisons in a nutshell • In Sint-Gillis since 1997, in Vorst since 1999, in Berckendael since 2012 • Till 2004 only literacy courses • Long strikes paralyzed work in Sint-Gillis from 2004 to 2007, Vorst courses continued • Since 2009 prison education coordinator: enormous progress in number and scope of courses • Other schools now present, Brusselleer still pioneer

  10. Some figures • Statistieken pdf-file bureaublad 1997-2004

  11. Some more figures

  12. what I did and do • since 1998: literacy in Sint-Gillis, since 2001 also in Vorst • From 2004-2007: literacy only in Vorst • since 2009: literacy and communication in Sint-Gillis (In 2006 and 2008: theatre in Vorst)

  13. Brusselleers‘ focus • Each and every individual: tailor-made courses • Small is beautiful • We are not people behind bars • you are in, but will one day be out again

  14. basic approach inmates • encourage, encourage, encourage • make hidden wants and needs surface, turn negative choice into positive • make participate and experience, not absorb passively • make education inside resemble education outside, normalisation • awaken positive potential

  15. basic approach prison officers • some education every day keeps the prison/punishment away • education = work: equal pay • prisoners/prison officers: and/and, not or/or (well-trained prison officers ease release)

  16. Respect (fromre-spicere: to thoroughly look, to look again)

  17. main obstacles • inmates don’t vote • intricate decision-making process immobilizes • disciplinary measures, imprisoned in prison • high turnover: short, shorter, too short (= detention prison, not prison for convicts) • Understaffing/underpayment=undermotivation=resentment

  18. main challenges • better liaise with post-release education • improve relation to employment market (Actiris’ vocational training) • attune to individual needs, curricula as tailor-made as possible • actively promote 'inreach’ (families+community) • broaden horizon, improve skills teachers

  19. Brussels’ future prison

  20. Thank you very much! Grazzi!