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Chief Inspector of Prisons speech focusing on central role of education in prisons, using Good Vibrations as good example

Nick Hardwick, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (and former trustee of Good Vibrations) gave the Prison Education Trust Annual Speech on 18 October.  His wide-ranging speech included looking at his experiences in the role, describing what has most shocked and surprised him in his first year as Chief Inspector.  

His overall message was the absolutely crucial role that education plays in the rehabilitation of offenders.  He believes that prisons’ and policy makers’ aspirations are far too low at present.  Education needs to be at the centre of a prison’s task rather than seen as a luxury add-on.  

Nick listed 10 things that he wants to see to bring education into the heart of prison life, including “arts projects that encourage prisoners to work collaboratively, to apply themselves to a task and increase their insight”.  He talked about Good VIbrations as a great example of what arts projects can achieve – including mentioning that he was initially a sceptic of our work, as “sitting on the floor drumming – not my thing at all” but that we confounded his expectations!