Can Cutting-Edge Tech Drive Positive Changes in Modern Prisons?

Evelyn Woodland
January 23, 2024

The role of technology in modern prisons is taking centre stage, with a focus on rehabilitation and positive transformation. HMP Fosse Way, a private prison in Leicester that opened its doors in June 2023, mirrors the innovative approach of its predecessor, HMP Five Wells, which commenced operations in 2022. The recent report by Catch 22, How Effective Are Different Types of Technology Across the Estate looks at the technology implemented within correctional facilities, providing valuable insights into their impact on inmate rehabilitation and the overall transformation of the prison system. This blog focuses on the cutting-edge technologies implemented in these modern facilities, highlighting their impact on inmate rehabilitation and the potential for positive changes in the prison system.

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In-cell Learning Devices

At the forefront of HMP Fosse Way's technological advancements are in-cell devices designed to empower prisoners with educational opportunities. These devices grant inmates the autonomy to access learning materials at their own pace, fostering a self-directed approach to education. This innovation not only makes education more accessible but also supports inmates in acquiring valuable skills during their incarceration.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Education

HMP Fosse Way has embraced computer-aided design education, offering inmates the chance to earn qualifications in this valuable skill. Prisoners equipped with CAD qualifications gain a unique advantage, becoming eligible for release on temporary licences to work on construction sites. This forward-thinking initiative aims to bridge the gap between incarceration and employment, setting the stage for successful reintegration into society.

Music Classrooms and Recording Facilities

Recognising the therapeutic and creative benefits of music, HMP Fosse Way has established music classrooms equipped with recording facilities. Inmates can engage in music education and training, honing their musical talents while working towards qualifications. This initiative not only fosters artistic expression but also provides a constructive outlet for inmates to channel their energies positively.

Driving Simulator for Construction Vehicles

Preparing inmates for a future beyond prison walls, HMP Fosse Way incorporates a driving simulator for construction vehicles. Inmates can use this simulator to practise operating forklifts, lorries, and other construction vehicles. This hands-on experience not only imparts practical skills but also positions inmates for obtaining Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) permits upon release. It is a strategic step towards enhancing employability and facilitating a smoother transition to the workforce.

As we reflect on the technological advancements witnessed at HMP Fosse Way and its predecessor, HMP Five Wells, it becomes evident that cutting-edge tech has the potential to drive positive changes in modern prisons. The emphasis on education, vocational training, and practical skill development reflects a shift towards a rehabilitative approach. These initiatives not only prepare inmates for successful reintegration into society but also contribute to reducing recidivism rates.