RTE Radio 1 journalist, Evelyn O’Rourke, visited the Education Centre in the Mountjoy

RTE Radio 1 journalist, Evelyn O’Rourke, visited the Education Centre in the Mountjoy Medical Unit to talk to the students, trainee solicitors and teachers about the Street Law programme delivered there”.  The report was broadcast on the Today with Sean O’Rourke Show on Tuesday morning the 19th February 2019.

Street Law Prison is an initiative of The Law Society of Ireland which enables trainee solicitors to work with prisoners to raise their awareness and understanding of the law in areas such as human rights, employment law, refugee rights and discrimination. Over the last few years the Education Centre Mountjoy has invited the Law Society of Ireland to deliver the programme in both the Main Prison and the Medical Unit primarily because the methodologies involved dovetail with those of the Education Centre; particularly in terms of enquiry-based and collaborative learning which bolsters critical reflection and enhances higher order thinking skills. The programme also enables prison learners develop a broader understanding of both their legal rights and responsibilities; and complements the work being done in the Philosophy, Politics and History classes in particular.

The broadcast includes an excerpt from a session on human rights during which Zac Sex, one of the Mountjoy teachers, can be heard facilitating the group discussion. It also includes two of the learners explaining the importance of prison education to them.  Shane outlined how education allows him to “feel proud of myself, proud that I can achieve something”. Brendan discussed how “education is something you have control over in here” and stressed that there is “no judgment from the teachers, no matter what level you’re at, there is always someone there to help you”. He also spoke of the sense of achievement and confidence gained from education and how it helps prisoners look at “themselves in a positive light.

To hear the full report, see the 19th February on the Today with Sean O’Rourke archive.