Dear friends, members and colleagues,
The Coronavirus pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for prison schools and penitentiary institutions all over the world. In many countries prison teachers (and other staff) are sent home to minimize the risk of spreading the disease in the vulnerable prison environment. Some of the prisoners are placed in quarantine.
We have received many messages from colleagues who tell us about what is happening and how they cope with this difficult situation. It is frightening to see how the virus controls our lives, but it is inspiring to see how creative solutions are found to maintain a teaching process and how we now fall back on the paper-based solutions that many of us, were still using in their daily practice.
Education may still lead to exams (there where exams are still held), but more than ever education will help distract the minds of so many in a positive way.
Prison staff and especially guards, most probably are the colleagues that are still on their posts, be it in the minimum number needed to guarantee safety. Any activity that can continue may relieve the stress for both prisoners and staff. Most teachers are sent home to minimize the danger of contamination and/or have to work from a distance. We know that many try to deliver work packages for the prison learners to work with for the time being. Some are able to deliver online courses, but they are a minority. Just as much as we find it interesting to hear about this, we think it can help others in finding ways to continue their work.
EuroPris has dedicated a special page on their website with the latest regulation concerning COVID-19 by the different European Prison Services. Read more here
EPEA would like to hear more from you and share your story with our colleagues. We will dedicate a special area on our Facebook for this purpose. Tell us about your prison education practice during the Corona pandemic.
Please send your input to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/epeaorg/
On behalf of the EPEA Steering Committee, we wish you and your dear ones to stay safe and healthy.