90 of our psychology and criminology students recently attended the annual Behind Bars conference in Fleet. This year the conference focused on the question ‘Are prisons a place for retribution, rehabilitation or punishment?’. Students heard from a number of ex-convicts, who told them about their criminal backgrounds and experience of prison life as well as whether they thought prisons actually reform inmates. These included a serial burglar, a businessman who committed fraud and a murderer.
Students were then given the opportunity to ask probing questions, and the replies that they received certainly challenged the initial conceptions that they had about life behind bars. Some of the students also got the opportunity to try on standard issue prison clothing.
Steve Gregory, Subject Tutor for psychology said, “This is always a fantastic conference. Our students were fascinated to hear of the prison experiences of the speakers. It was a great opportunity to broaden their knowledge of criminal psychology and the criminal justice system and is an experience that will stick in their minds for many years to come.”