Learning Infrastructure for Correctional Services

E-learning comprises a great chance for prisoners to improve their basic skills as well as their vo­cational knowledge. It provides learning material and activities on an individualised level, meeting the educational needs of a large variety of learners. This will enhance their opportunities after re­lease on the labour market and reduce recidivism substantially.

The system opens up time for teachers to act as a consultant, moderator and facilitator for the lear­ner, giving profound advice according to the students' level of qualification, motivational situation etc. This kind of "blended learning" is especially effective in the correctional service, because

  • modularised learning objects support inmates with short term sentences; they can continue learning on additional modules in public education after release;
  • media-based learning enlarges the range of professions which can be taught beyond traditio­nal low-qualified prison jobs;
  • using computers for learning strengthens learning motivation, especially of young inmates;
  • digital media learning environments enhance IT and media competency of inmates.

The LICOS project aims at the development and evaluation of a common European e-learning framework for prison education. The system can be adapted to the various penitentiary conditions in European countries and will be installed in a flexible, modularised “toolbox-like” manner to be able to fulfil specific national requirements.

The development of the common e-learning framework will be done together with application part­ner countries which will provide feedback on every stage of the development. The project will show how European countries can manage to combine their respective strengths to get to a modern, effective and efficient educational system in European correctional services.

The basic ideas behind the project are

  • to learn from those European countries which already were successful in developing and de­ploying innovative e-learning systems in their prisons on a daily routine basis instead of in­venting the “e-learning wheel” again and again,
  • to generate a transferable e-learning system, considering pedagogical, organisational, politi­cal and technical approaches as well as strong security requirements in the various Euro­pean countries.
  • to promote the idea of co-operating in the field of correctional services, to realise an example of good practice in modern prison training, and to give recommendations to the other EU countries and the Commission considering the future of media-supported prison education in Europe.

A total of eight partners from seven European member states are working together in this innova­tion transfer project: Germany (coordinator), Norway, The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom.

Project Period

to Dezember 2012

Project Leader

Walter Hammerschick

Executive Director