Providing an Education in Philosophy to UK Prisoners
The Crito Project has delivered degree-equivalent education, in philosophy, to inmates serving their sentences in East Anglia, since 2013.
The course is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. By that I mean it really makes you look at yourself and challenges your thinking and … it does that it such a way that it does not let you kid yourself or turn your back on thinking that is clearly wrong.
To create a space where you can be critical - kick all the ideas around and see what really stands up. This gives you, moving on from that, a kind of certainty in what you can and can’t call a sensible way of looking at the world. That’s been huge for me, and I think it’s been huge for all of us because there’s a danger in blind faith - it gives you the feeling that you don’t have to worry about anything.
I make a lot more effort to be diligent in my reasoning now. I used to think Philosophy was a humanity but now now I see it more portable and can be applied in virtually all aspects of your life. This has made me relax more and reflect.
I think the course has helped me understand myself more and also pulled me away from some of the incorrect thinking that I was making. I’m more aware of others points of views, which I certainly was not in the past and now I can see the mistakes I was making in the assumptions I was making of others...or really the not-thinking about others views.
The cumulative effect has been to make me ‘stand back’ from my thinking and reassess not only the way I think and see things, but also to step back & think more carefully about what other people say and think.
It’s taught me that I have a level of choice in what I believe, I have a choice in how much I let the world get to me, and that means you can choose what you will feel … You can choose the content of your thought, you can choose how you react at crucial points.