Does prison education in Scottish young offenders’ institutions work?

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Compared with the rest of the UK, particularly England and Wales and indeed other countries such as Canada, Australia and USA, (see, for example, Esperian 2010; Baylis 2003; Tracy 2003; Morin 1981; Merrington et al. 2004; Jancic 1998; Lockwood et al. 2012; Darling and Price 2004), prison education in Scotland has not been subjected to much scholarly attention. This is despite the fact that Scotland spends a substantial amount of its prison budget on offender opportunities, including education and vocational skills training (Scottish Government 2014). Given the uniqueness of Scotland as a devolved region of the UK, with powers, inter alia, over the criminal justice system, including prisons (Audit Scotland 2005), offers particular insights regarding the nature of prison education (learning, vocational training and employment skills) for both male and female young offenders (16-21 years). There is need therefore to subject to scholarly investigation recent reports as to why there seems to be a sharp fall in the numbers of male young offenders reoffending after leaving prison (see Leask 2015). Areas of research interest are, but not limited to, the resources available, extent and quality of provision, inmates’ engagement with it, how this is managed by prison staff, what kind of teachers are involved in its delivery and why, if at all, inmates seem to lose interest in the education that is provided and indeed what should be done to motivate inmates and improve learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Event71st Annual International CEA Conference and Training Event: Correctional Education: Key to Successful Transitions and Promising Futures - Hilton Long Beach, Long Beach, United States
Duration: 31 Jul 20163 Aug 2016


Conference71st Annual International CEA Conference and Training Event
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach


  • prisons
  • Educatio and Trauning
  • young offenders
  • Scotland
  • desistance
  • Rehabilitation


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