Report into benefits of bringing together students with prisoners to deliver inclusive learning opportunities

Dr Suzanne Young, Lecturer in Criminal Justice, has published a report into a unique learning partnership between prisons and universities.

Suzanne found that students at Full Sutton prison, where the module was held, saw an increase in confidence while all the Leeds Beckett students reported that the module had made them more open minded and had helped to break down social barriers. The report found that the module had a humanising effect for some of the Full Sutton students, which was reported as an important impact.

Other impacts for Full Sutton students included an appetite for more higher education and an improvement in communication skills. For the Leeds Beckett students the module had enhanced their academic skills. It also enabled them to be more informed about careers working with people with criminal convictions.

The report also made a number of recommendations for future Learning Together programmes not least is overcoming the emotive challenges students faced at the end of the module. The Leeds Beckett students found it difficult to leave their peers in Full Sutton. The Full Sutton students were dissatisfied that there were no follow-on opportunities at the end of the Prison: Learning Together module.

Suzanne joined the School of Law in summer 2018. She has been teaching in the fields of criminology, criminal justice and sociology for the past twelve years having lectured at the University of Stirling, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Glasgow and Leeds Beckett University. She is the British Society of Criminology's joint co-ordinator of the Yorkshire and Humberside regional group and is on the steering committee for the BSC Learning and Teaching Network.

She uses innovative methods of teaching and learning, with a particular focus on technology enhanced learning and communities of practice. Her leadership expertise in these areas led to her being awarded the 2017 Inspiring Teacher of the Year Award at Leeds Beckett and was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.


The report can be found here.