What we do

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For 30 years, PET has helped people in prison transform their lives through learning.

Working across England and Wales, we:

1. Fund courses in levels and subjects that are otherwise unavailable

2. Support people to choose courses, build connections and progress with their learning

3. Champion the life-changing power of education to prisons and policy makers

Read about the need for our work and about our impact


There is a pressing need for our work. In recent years, conditions in prisons have deteriorated. The population has risen while staff numbers have decreased. Violence, self- harm and drug use are widespread, and more and more prisoners are spending 23 hours a day locked in their cell.

People in prison are often among the most disadvantaged in our society. Many have had damaging childhoods, have experienced mental health and addiction problems, and have suffered multiple bereavements. Most step through the prison gates with a poor and limited history of education.

*Statistics from Coates Review, 2016


What we do makes a difference.

Research by the Ministry of Justice’s Data Lab has shown that our courses:

Reduce reoffending by 25%

Out of 100 people leaving prison, 82 PET learners lead crime-free lives in the year after leaving prison, compared to 75 in a matched group.

Increases chance of finding work by 26%

Out of 100 people leaving prison, 39 PET learners find work in the first year of release, compared to 31 in a matched group.

Through the personal accounts of people we fund, we also know that education has broader benefits. Our learners say education also has a positive impact on:


(ability to cope in prison, improvements to mental health),

Human Capital

(feeling of self-worth, hope and motivation),

Social Capital

(relationships with others, including prisoners and families),


(involvement in creating a positive prison environment)

© Prisoners' Education Trust 2020

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