Chief Inspector calls for supervised access to internet

24 Jun 2014

PET welcomed a speech by Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, today (24 June) commending its recent report with the Prison Reform Trust calling for prisoners to be given secure access to the internet to support their rehabilitation. He spoke at the annual Modernising Justice Technology, Innovation and Efficiency conference in London, which for the first time is considering the benefits of computers for rehabilitation.

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, PET, said:

“We welcome the Chief Inspector of Prisons speech and today’s focus on rehabilitation at this year’s event. In every aspect of our lives we are embracing newer technologies to improve the way we work, study and socialise. But there is a growing digital divide between communities and prisons, despite the potential for ICT to enable people in prison to learn, apply for jobs and talk with their families - all of which are proven to help prisoners move away from crime and resettle back into society. We would like to see more ambition to really modernise justice in prisons. That will mean transforming rehabilitation through secure access to computers and the internet.”

The report, by the Prison Reform Trust and PET recommends the use of secure, controlled access to computers and the internet to transform education, family contact and resettlement in prisons and reduce reoffending on release.

Through the Gateway: How Computers Can Transform Rehabilitation examines the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in prisons and its potential as a tool for rehabilitation. It is based on a survey of prisons sent to all prison governors and directors in England and Wales supported by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), a focus group of prisoners’ families, prison visits and expert roundtables.

Editor's Notes

For interviews, photos or further information please contact

Susannah Henty (PET), Media Manager:; 020 8648 7760 or visit

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, 07876 385 143

About PET

This year Prisoners Education Trust (PET) celebrates its 25th anniversary. The charity was set up in HMP Wandsworth by a prison teacher in 1989 who wanted to expand the range of courses available for prisoners. That year, PET helped 12 people, now the charity supports approx. 2,000 each year to study distance learning courses across England and Wales. The charity does this by providing advice and grants to prisoners keen to study subjects and levels not generally available in prisons. PET also carries out research, informed by prisoner learners, to improve prison education.

In 2012 PET launched the Prisoner Learning Alliance with 18 other expert organisations to help improve the policy and practice of prisoner learning, training and skills.