By Joseph Giordmaina
The Programme for Education in Prison of the University of Malta and the European Prison Education Association – Malta Branch organised a one-week training seminar entitled In-Prison Education for Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
Home Affairs and National Security Minister Emmanuel Mallia inaugurated the event. He spoke about his vision of the prison, particularly the role of the prison as a correctional facility, a process of incarceration after which the inmate should be reformed. The minister expressed his concern on the number of ex-inmates who return to prison time and time again. This in itself reflects badly on the success rate of reintegration into society.
The minister spoke of his idea to appoint a director of education at CCF, highlighting his ambition to make education and rehabilitation two of the main purposes of incarceration. This theme was further explored by the main invited speakers.
The themes discussed were rehabilitation and resettlement, formal and informal education, virtual learning platforms in prisons, employment after release and the role of the prison as a positive learning environment.
All agreed that we are now in a position to know what really works in prison, basic of which is the need to involve the prison inmate in the design of one’s sentence plan. This is possible only if an accurate assessment of his/her needs is made.