Dr Ben Walker of the Crito project, a nominee of the 2018 Aurora Diversity and Equality Award, presented the history of US university and prison partnerships during a conference co-hosted by University of Grenoble Alpes’s SciencesPo Grenoble.
The presentation yielded three examples of success from the past 20 years: Hudson link, Inside Out and Bard College Prison Initiative (BPI). Dr Walker explained the unique pedagogical approaches of all three: how these led to a significant diversity of education provision and ends. Dr Walker also explained why the Crito Project chose to take BPI as the exemplary case with which to model the development and priorities of the project.
The Crito Project is an organisation whose purpose is to provide a degree-level education in philosophy, logic and ethics to inmates serving their sentences in the East of England. The Project has been active since 2013 and has expanded to the point where it is delivering education across three prisons. The Crito Project’s academic provision is overseen and endorsed by the University of East Anglia’s Philosophy Department.
The conference focused on the university’s role in educating incarcerated people and opened up an international dialogue about best practices and social responsibility. The conference brought together university researchers and teachers working in these issues, prison administrators and staff, and representatives from the not-for-profit world.