PLA Conference 2014

In April 2014, the PLA held a one day conference to explore the key themes of the 'Smart Rehabilitation' report in further detail; namely how a more joined-up, outcome-focused and value-driven approach could lead to improvements. Overall, the conference raised the important question of what the purpose of prison education is and what the future direction should be, particularly when so much is changing so rapidly in the CJS.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn and share examples of good practice through practitioner led workshops, which covered a wide range of themes including; engaging hard to reach learners, effective induction, developing employability and joining up through the gate. We had fantastic keynote speakers joining us on the day to discuss these issue and our panel discussions included a wide range of speakers, such as; prison teachers, former prisoners, officials from BIS, Probation and VCS organisations.

Keynote speakers discussing these issues on the day included;

  • Stephen Miller; Ofsted Inspector
  • Professor Fergus McNeill; Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research & University of Glasgow
  • Professor Mike Maguire, University of South Wales
  • Emily Thomas; MoJ Transforming Rehabilitation Through the Gate team and former governor of HMYOI Cookham Wood

Panel discussions included a wide range of speakers, such as; prison teachers, former prisoners, officials from BIS, Probation and VCS organisations. Click here for the keynote speeches.

The Prisoner Learning Alliance’s conference, held at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes, was a timely opportunity for those working with young people in custody to have their say and share good practice as the government have committed to putting ‘education at the heart’ of the youth estate. How this will be done in practice is still not clear. The key discussions focused on the need for young people in prison to have personalised support, a range of learning activities and teaching that really engages them, as well as an opportunity to have a say in the education provision available. Read more about the conference workshops on what works for young people in prison here.