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Course exposes realities of life behind bars

Last Updated: Tuesday, 08 October 2013

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A pilot project will be launched this month in Birmingham, which will help provide people with the skills to work in the criminal justice system.

Birmingham City University has partnered up with the New Bridge Foundation to offer prospective and current students the opportunity of taking part in the new Students @ New Bridge course.

The one year course starting on Saturday 19th October 2013 will provide an in-depth look into the prison system and the realities of life behind bars, as well as providing a route into volunteering and gaining work experience in the criminal justice system.

Chris Thomas, Chief Executive of the New Bridge Foundation, said; "Working in the criminal justice system, whether in a paid role or as a volunteer, is tough - it takes a particular set of knowledge and skills. Many students come to New Bridge to volunteer with prisoners but don't yet have the knowledge and skills to be selected for further training.

“This three-part certified course will give anyone interested in working with offenders' key insights into the work, the reality of prisons and the role volunteers can play in helping someone turn away from crime. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in working with offenders.”

The introductory conference for those registered for the course, will be held on Saturday 19 October 2013 at the University's City North Campus (Perry Barr), and will feature a public talk from ex-offender Alex Hayden. Alex will be sharing his inspiring story about his past involvement in drugs, gang crime, imprisonment and his subsequent help from New Bridge to get his life back on track.

Leading Criminologist Professor David Wilson, former prison governor and presenter of Channel 5's ground-breaking Killer's Behind Bars series, will be delving into the history of the penal system and will also be on hand to answer queries from students who are interested in entering this field of work.

Founded in 1956, the New Bridge Foundation is a non-profit organisation working with prisoners in order to help create links between offenders and the community. The Foundation offers a range of services to help prisoners keep in touch with the outside world, such as befriending and mentoring - to enable them to realise their full potential as members of society. New Bridge believes that the best way to break the cycle of reoffending is to enable ex-offenders the opportunity to go onto live positive lives in the community.

For non-BCU students the course will cost £85.00, with a discount provided for BCU students. To book onto this course, which begins with an introductory conference on Saturday 19 October, visit the event registration page or for further information please contact Netta Pickett, Senior Business Development Officer on +44 (0)121 331 7331 or email: Netta Pickett.

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