UK's Prison Education Contracts are finally settled

The process of alotting education providers to the UK’s various clusters of prisons has finally drawn to a close, and the results signal important changes for our charity. Our partner in provision, People Plus, has more than doubled its range of provision, to 22 prisons in total. Unfortunately, the one prison that has moved in the opposite direct, into the hands of another provider – HMP Whitemoor – was one where the Crito Project had been teaching since 2017, and had built up good relationships and a bright and talented student body.

The change does mean, however, that new partnerships with new Governors are there to be made, and we’re hugely excited by the prospect of teaching at new sites such as HMP Norwich and HMP Highpoint.

Teaching begins on new module: Authorship & Philosophy

The Crito Project is rolling out a new type of module for our students, one designed to help them get up to speed and to gain confidence in close-reading texts. The nine-week module will involve our reading a classic of science fiction together, whilst learning some key techiniques that authors can use to create meaning, ambiguity, complexity and character. We will also be investigating the text through the lense of philosophy, considering reader-response theory, anarchist polticial theory, Daoism, and theories concerning time and causation. If successful, the module will be repeated with different types of text, building towards a three-part series of introductory modules that teach academic good practice and philosophical concepts whilst also introducing exciting and novel ways to read classic works of ficiton and non-fiction.

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Stoicism: our most successful philosophy module

Today marked the start of a new term teaching Stoicism across three sites; Warren Hill, Hollesley Bay and Whitemoor. With its focus on emotional coherence, justice and cosmopolitanism, the ancient Hellenistic school of Stoicism must rank, hands down, as the most popular course we run at the Crito Project. Class discussions of the good life, how we preference different desires, and daily journaling are all features of what make this most practical philosophy so popular. Here’s a few of the many remarks our alumni have made on the module’s effects on them:

“It’s made me reassess certain things, question things…how I was dealing with certain things. I think the course has helped me reflect on my own reality….my self and ideal self…to really think about the reality I created and the reality I want to create.”


“Less impulsive, less susceptible to peer pressure, [Stoicism] has lengthened my fuse. … For them three reasons – through knowing that concept of ‘it’s out of your control’ – yeah, it’s changed me.”


“If I hadn’t been doing what I had being doing in prison on the course…I don’t know where I’d be. I’ve been real serious about the course, it certainly has made me see the past clearly – and also where I want to go.”

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We hit £1,200!

While the walk was only a conditional success, with Ben having to pull up after 320 miles, due to damaging his Achilles tendon, the donations that kept pouring in during his walk were generous, inspirational and will prove hugely important for the continuing success of the Crito Project. A big thank you to everyone who has sponsored the South West Coastal Path walk. The funds will go into registering the project as an CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation), purchasing teaching materials and providing books for prison libraries.

Sponsored 630 mile walk in aid of The Crito Project

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Sponsor Ben

7th July-18th August ... 
630 miles ...
One pair of legs

 

On the 12th July, Ben Walker (our lead tutor) will start his 630 mile-walk along the Southwest Coastal Path, England's longest waymarked footpath. Ben is making the journey to  raise much-needed funds for The Crito Project, so please give generously if you can: the Project receives no institutional funding, and is run entirely on a voluntary basis.  

The Southwest Coastal Path

Running from Minehead in Somerset, up and down along the Jurassic Coast of Devon and Cornwall, and ending in Poole Harbour in Dorset, the path stretches for 630 miles. Generations of coastguards patrolled this coast, checking on lighthouses and searching for smugglers, and today the path still closely hugs each harbour and crannie along the shoreline. The total height climbed has been calculated to be 35,031 m, almost four times the height of Mount Everest.