Students and prisoners to learn together

Syddansk Universitet wants to model a course after successful US programme

Soon law students and prisoners will be learning together in a new programme set up through Syddansk Universitet.

The new programme will be modelled on the US Inside-Out Prison Exchange Programme, where university students and prisoners together discuss crime, justice and social issues, while learning from each other.

“It can have a huge positive impact on both the inmates and my law students,” Linda Kjær Minke, a criminologist at the university told Jyllands-Posten. “It will be about general education, but also about personal development because it’s another way to learn.”

Minke has just been certified in the US to teach such courses.

Learning experience for inmates
The programme is not just for university students, but for prisoners as well.

Thomas Elholm, the director of the university’s law department, sees great potential in trying new forms of teaching.

“With such a course we can work closely with prisons, give our law students other approaches to issues and help offenders get an education,” he told Jyllands-Posten.

Prisons receptive
The university is working on its proposal for the elective course, which is pending approval, but officials in the Kriminalforsorgen, the Prison and Probation Service, are open to the idea.

“We regularly receive inspiration from both national and international projects where new initiatives are tested,” Morten Bruun Petersen, a senior consultant with the service, told Jyllands-Posten.

The Inside-Out programme began in 1997 at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today there are such programmes in over 150 colleges and universities in the US, as well as in countries abroad, and over 300 trained instructors worldwide.





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