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Celebrating partnerships at HMP Pentonville

Novus colleagues and learners were part of a team who worked on a unique project at HMP Pentonville to write and design a commemorative book marking the prison’s 20 year partnership with the Prisoners’ Education Trust.

Jose Aguiar, Novus tutor, led the five month project, which was a collaboration between two classes in the education department and the wider prison community. Creative Arts tutor Helena Baptista and Art and Design tutor Kirk Lawrence, worked with their learners to create artwork, poetry and writing to include in the book.

The theme is the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Prisoners’ Education Trust, and the transformational impact of Distance Learning courses on HMP Pentonville residents, since 1998.

Prisoners took a central and active role in the production of the book, and were an integral part of its planning, research, and content.

Jose said: “The production of the booklet was innovative, in the sense that, for the first time, a five-month project involved two classes, and the wider prison community, collaborating and contributing in equal terms. It proved that when different stakeholders come together, success happens.

“In the words of one prisoner involved in the project: ‘Learning in prison has been like a duvet on a winter night; it is something comforting when everything appears bleak’.”

The interactive version of the book is available to read via the Prisoners' Education Trust website

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