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Prison Reading Groups

Prison Reading Groups (PRG) was established in 1999 to help set up and run reading groups in prisons. We now support over 40 groups in 31 prisons and cognate settings.

The groups are run by volunteers with the help of prison librarians, and are tailor-made to fit the circumstances and needs of each prison: monthly or weekly groups, read-aloud, groups for older prisoners, groups for emergent readers, for higher level learners, Family Day groups and so on.

Prison Reading Groups: What Books Can Do Behind Bars is a new report, written by Sarah Turvey and Jenny Hartley and published by the University of Roehampton, on the work of Prison Reading Groups (PRG) 1999-2013.

The report tells the story of the PRG project from its beginnings to the present. It makes the case for the importance of reading groups as informal learning in prison, and provides extensive evidence of the benefits of the groups: from prison governors, policy makers, librarians, volunteers. Above all, it emphasises the powerful voices of prisoner members themselves on what reading groups can do behind bars.

The report can be downloaded from the PRG website here or from the link below

Prison Reading Groups: What Books Can Do Behind Bars here. 



Mandella. By Warren Simmons. HMP Wealstun. Courtesy of the Koestler Trust.