The 21st Century Prison

Page 1

A new prison architecture maintains security whilst freeing up financial and staff resources. Organisation of the

prison day and the role of the prison officer can thus be re-oriented to provide an extensive learning programme, within the current financial envelope. ISBN 0-9543055-0-7 Price ÂŁ9.95


Prisons are expensive and there is little evidence they work. Six out of ten prisoners re-offend within two years. Learning Works is a radical case for prison reform developed through a collaborative enquiry involving prisoners and an interdisciplinary team.

Learning Works: The 21st Century Prison

Hilary Cottam + Buschow Henley Matthew Horne Grace Comely

Learning Works: The 21st Century Prison

Six out of ten prisoners are illiterate, six out of ten re-offend within two years. Learning Works is a radical agenda for change: a new prison architecture supports and makes affordable a transformative, learning regime.

We would like to thank Tom Bentley, Claudia Sturt, Ken Sutton and Judith Williams for their invaluable help and expertise over the last two years, and the Learning Works team for their support and inspiration: Roger Graef, Stephen Heppell, Louise Hind and Fiona Radford. The authors extend special thanks to the Design Council Innovation Fund for their support with the development and production of this publication.



Foreword by Martin Narey Director General, HM Prison Service


Executive Summary


Chapter One: The Opportunity


Chapter Two: The Learning Building


Chapter Three: The Learning Regime


An Agenda for Action






About the Authors





We are indebted to the many prisoners and prison staff who have shared their ideas and innovations with us, allowing us to build on their insights.


There is a wealth of evidence that if we can get people in prison off drugs, into education, make them employable and help them maintain family and community links, they are better able to become good and useful members of society when released. Over recent years, the Prison Service has made tremendous strides in addressing the resettlement agenda, so that more prisoners than ever before are leaving our prisons equipped with the skills they need to build themselves a better future. I am committed to the modernisation of the Prison Service and to recognising and championing best practice across the


estate. We can continue to improve by building on the ideas and excellence of many of our staff, and by further developing our thinking to deal with the fundamental challenge; how to make a secure and ordered institution an environment in which people can flourish and learn. I commend the Learning Works team for their unique and refreshing discussion of the issues facing the Prison Service. I hope that those involved with caring for prisoners across the private and public sectors as well as in government will consider the innovative ideas presented here and consider how we might move forward in making the prisons of the 21st century humane, constructive and stimulating places.

By Hilary Cottam At the start of the 21st century, a prison system designed over two hundred years ago is containing ever increasing numbers of prisoners, at escalating cost. Six out of ten prisoners are functionally illiterate and unsuited to 96 percent of the jobs available. Six out of ten prisoners re-offend within two years of release and re-enter an already over crowded prison system. Prisons are not working: for prisoners, staff, the taxpayer or the Exchequer. Learning Works presents a radical case for prison reform. A new architecture makes possible the design of a new prison regime based on learning. The building maintains security whilst freeing up financial and staff resources. Spaces are specifically designed to support a programme of rehabilitation. Organisation of the prison day and the role of the prison officer can thus be re-orientated to provide an intensive programme of learning. In this context learning includes but goes much beyond the acquisition of basic skills - it becomes the principle for personal and institutional transformation. What’s New? r 1SJTPO BSDIJUFDUVSF BOE UIF QSJTPO regime are considered as an integrated whole: the building enables a new learning programme r -FBSOJOH JT UIF PSHBOJTJOH QSJODJQMF maximising prisoner development opportunities without compromising security and offering modernised roles for prison officers r 1BSUOFSTIJQ MJFT BU UIF IFBSU PG UIF approach: new and broader working alliances produce new, workable solutions r 4NBSU 4QFOEJOH FYJTUJOH SFTPVSDFT (human and financial) are redeployed to deliver a very different prison service within the current financial envelope

The ideas behind Learning Works have been developed through a collaborative enquiry. An inter-disciplinary team including architects and educationalists, working in partnership with the Prison Service, have carried out an extensive programme of prison visits, interviewing and holding workshops with prisoners and prison officers. Learning Works builds on what is working within the prison service. There is currently a climate of innovation and enquiry - it is a unique moment of opportunity. Attempts to graft important and well-meaning innovations onto the edges of an already creaking system are, however, doomed to failure. It is in this context that Learning Works argues for a radical re-think. We do not offer a blue print but rather the principles around which an incremental process of transformation could be gradually progressed.

Executive Summary


By Martin Narey Director General, HM Prison Service

This publication sets out the agenda for change: Chapter One presents the principles, Chapter Two describes the architectural model, Chapter Three the Learning Regime. Our aims are ambitious: rates of reoffending could be reduced to 15 percent over the next thirty years with very real net gains for the country. Our proposition is not intellectual or political, but practical. Learning Works is an agenda for action. We conclude with seven steps that might be taken immediately to start the process of transformation.



The Opportunity Chapter One

Introduction Prisons are expensive and there is little evidence they work. At the start of the 21st century, a penal system designed in the nineteenth century is containing ever higher numbers of prisoners, at increasing expense, with little direct evidence that there is any correlation between the prison regime and rehabilitation.

There are over 70,000 prisoners in Britain. This amounts to the second largest prison population in Europe, and a 50 percent increase in the numbers found in prison a decade ago. 1

The average cost of keeping each of these individuals incarcerated is £27,000 per person per year (10 times the average expenditure on a secondary school pupil in the state sector and 6 times the average annual cost of public school fees).2 Despite this significant investment over half of Britain’s prisoners go on to re-offend within two years of release.3 Most of Britain’s prisoners are young men under the age of 30. At least 60 percent are functionally illiterate and innumerate and a significant proportion lack basic skills and ICT competence. Up to 96 percent of the jobs available in the formal economy are thus beyond the reach of ex-offenders.4 Without education and skills, few will be able to build meaningful lives away from crime, no matter how long or how often they spend time in prison. High rates of recidivism mean that Britain’s prison population is continuing to grow at alarming rates - recently by as many as 700 prisoners per week.5 In order to meet the resulting overcrowding (and in part to meet the backlog of refurbishment needs resulting from the previous 20 years of limited spending), the government is currently investing in the prison estate at historic levels. In total it is proposed to provide 12,000 new prison places over the next few years.6


Pressures within the system have contributed to changes in political attitudes. During the last two years the government has demonstrated a clear shift in its stance towards prisons, and those working at senior levels within the prison service have been emphasising ‘What Works’ and the imperative that prison should serve a clear

purpose in relation to crime as one of a range of options. New performance indicators on resettlement rates and explicit concerns about what constitutes purposeful activity are just two examples of recent changes. Despite these policy shifts and the concerted efforts of senior management, it has proved hard to realise significant change in practice. Difficulties emerge in part through attempts to graft change onto the edges of a system experiencing a more endemic crisis, and in part due to the particular nature of the prison service which is strongly influenced by the external actions and performance of other institutions such as the courts and schools. Learning Works argues however that the history of the prison service in Britain shows that real change is possible and that this change can be brought about by harnessing resources and efforts around a transformative principle: learning. We have developed our ideas, working closely with the prison service, through a programme of prison visits. The framework suggested in this publication has additionally been revised through workshops held with prisoners and prison officers at HMP Wandsworth. Current levels of investment and the commitment of politicians and prison staff to find ‘What Works’ provides the context for a radical re-think of the prison. Our model reuses existing resources to different effect, building on innovations that are already present in practice and policy. A programme of learning is supported by the design of a new physical and virtual infrastructure with close connections to the world beyond the prison gates. This publication starts to map out a step by step route for the transformation of prisons for the 21st century.

The 19th Century Legacy: The Fordist Prison The prison service today is in key respects very similar to that of the 19th century. The regime and building type of prisons such as Wormwood Scrubs and Wandsworth came into being largely as a result of the late 18th century reforms of John Howard (1726-90). By the 1770s the English justice system was under siege from several different directions: crime was on the rise, judges were sentencing greater numbers of ‘felons’ to confinement and the overcrowding of prisons was a matter of increasing political debate. In an eerie parallel with today, the government, in scrambling to find a solution, settled in 1776 on the use of old vessels

as places of temporary confinement.7 It was however the publication of John Howard’s The State of the Prisons in England and Wales in 1777 which captured the imagination of the public and led to widespread reform: the shape of which informs the prison service today. Howard’s book created the impression that prison was the inevitable form of punishment. He catalogued the abuses in the current system, whilst focusing on the factors key to reform and a healthy and efficient institution. Although his focus was on the regime, Howard was unusual in drawing strong links between the design of the physical environment and a moral programme of rehabilitation. William Blackburn, Howard’s favourite architect, designed nineteen prisons to accommodate the new regime and prison officers, expressing his belief that space and stone could be used to shape human nature, and that architecture could implicitly promote the goals of the prison.8 Geometry and symmetry would underpin a regime of secure classification and separation. These were ideas which were later further developed by Jeremy Bentham who, beginning in 1792, started to design and construct his model prison around the panopticon.9 The ideas of the two men can be most clearly seen in prisons such as Wandsworth and Pentonville: a radial design with wings radiating from a central rotunda. Control is characterised by external physical containment. The prison service designed by Howard and his contemporaries was at the forefront of public service reform: it was not only the building type (echoed in schools and hospitals) which influenced other areas of the public sector. The prison service led the way in a broader modernisation of both the structures of service delivery and the civil service itself. Howard, for example, successfully argued for payment to gaolers, making the prison service the first to have a professional staff. The 19th century prison was, in its time, forward looking: the regime would no longer focus on severe physical punishment (the inheritance of the Clink and other earlier prisons), but would express concern for the prisoner’s hygiene and moral welfare, providing clean spaces and purposeful activity. The principles of efficiency, consistency and professionalisation pioneered by Howard and his Victorian successors were increasingly routinised as the 20th century progressed. The prison came to resemble any other system of Fordist or standardised mass production.

Prisoners were characterised as standardised components moving through the system according to the mechanisms demanded by the institution, as opposed to their personal needs. Similarly, an organisational structure based on vertical divisions of labour came to predominate. Within this structure, sub categories or units do not understand the institution as a whole, and control and expertise is integrated and concentrated at the upper levels of a clearly defined hierarchy. Situating and understanding the current prison service within this historical context is important for three key reasons. Firstly, whilst the 19th century prison was certainly an improvement on its predecessors, implicit in Howard’s reforms were a number of ideas which have come back to haunt the prison service today. Amongst these were the centring of prisons as the only institution of reform and the subtle shift from punishment of the body (physical pain) to punishment of the psyche (emotional pain). The latter observation, first commented upon by Foucault, but present in the arguments of those who have examined the effects of ‘prisonerisation’, leads to the second key reason for understanding the historical context of the prison service.10 The 19th century prison was one which was embedded in and suitable for the wider society and economy of which it was part. Whilst in the eighteenth century there had been no conception of a uniform penalty (rather a principle that prison should not be costly and that the punishment should fit the crime), a fundamental tenet of the 19th century prison was the principle of uniform systems and categories: the still pervasive system of organising the prison system around a set of categories A to D. This principle of organising prisoners according to a standardised perception of security risk (as opposed to an understanding of the individual prisoner and their needs), and incarcerating them in a building with factory-like cells, is an approach which Learning Works argues is no longer in step with the highly specialised and diversified ‘post Fordist’ structures of the 21st century. The world beyond the prison gates is diverse and fast changing: a place where traditional structures such as the family, the work place and the community are continually in transition; a place where new technologies and ideas about learning are rapidly unsettling a society in which the prisoner has already failed to cope and ‘fit in’.11


Thirdly, this historical legacy is important in that it illustrates the prison service’s capacity for change. The 19th century reforms saw the prison service lead the way in defining the nature of modern institutions in their built and social form. The issues faced by the prison service today are those faced in less acute form by other areas of the public sector. Placing learning and purposeful activity at the core and building on historic tradition, we believe the prison service has the potential of not only revolutionising its own service, but contributing to the wider current debate on the revitalisation of Britain’s public services.

Contemporary Political Economy: The Last Thirty Years The legacy of Howard and his contemporaries was a response to an acute crisis in the prison system of the 1700s. Over the last thirty years, equally acute stresses have become evident in the prison service they shaped. It is important to repeat that many of these stresses are not particular to the prison service but more general pressures on Fordist systems and Victorian institutions: staff morale, overcrowding, crumbling fabric and increasing costs of control are issues faced by the National Health Service and our education system. In the prison service, these issues have been all too evident to politicians, policy makers and those who work or live within the system. Three broad shifts in policy can be detected as various political parties and officials have attempted to make incremental changes in the system.


In the late 1980s, ‘the lavatory years’, the then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd attempted to further humanise the prison environment, prioritising the abolition of slopping out and the installation of toilets. The impact of these gradual, well-meaning measures was overtaken by the pressures of overcrowding and the resulting

View of the gate, HMP Wormwood Scrubs, London. Edmund Du Cane (1874-91). The two plaques commemorate the work of John Howard and Elizabeth Fry.

Re-integration of the individual into this society demands the ability to personally adapt and build on creative skills – a process of change which must engage with rather than negate the emotions. Thus the aspirations of a 21st century or post Fordist prison must be based on the possibility of integrating resources around the individual to allow for this personal change. A prison where the regime and repressive architecture encourage staff and inmates to think in terms of fixed categories and constrain creative thinking skills is unlikely to motivate change or equip the individual to cope with a continually changing world.

widespread riots during April 1990 which led to the then Conservative government establishing the Woolf commission. In 1991 the publication of the Woolf report appeared to lay the foundations for a further period of humanitarian reform, encapsulated in the statement of purpose (still found on prison walls across Britain) which made no mention of punishment; ‘Our duty is to look after them (prisoners) with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release’.12 By the mid 1990s however the political mood had shifted and the government’s own white paper, in contrast to the Woolf Report, concentrated on a much enlarged prison population and developing a more austere regime.13 The cant phrase ‘Prison Works’ emphasised the increasingly predominant thinking that there was little that could be done other than locking people up as long as possible. The practical repercussions of this shift are still very much in evidence. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for new private prisons focus on security. The financial success of the prison rests on meeting these KPIs with the result that prisoners spend an average of fourteen hours a day ‘banged up’ inside their cells, lessening the chance of a breach in security.14 By contrast the Prison Service has met its KPI on providing purposeful activity just once in the last seven years.15 More recently a third shift has taken place: a focus on ‘What Works’. One of the most important recent innovations, and an explicit recognition of the linkages between crime, recidivism and education and employment, has been the formation of a new Strategic Partnership between the Prison Service and the DfES. The Strategic Partnership is focusing on the raising of basic skills and has published its targets. The second potentially significant innovation was the announcement in January 2002 by Beverley Hughes, the then prison minister, of her support for a report by Patrick Carter which recommended that the prison service should implement a programme of ‘new for old’ schemes, selling off Victorian prisons to make way for purpose built ‘super prisons’.16 Whilst these recent innovations amount to a very rare opportunity to change the parameters of the prison system, current attempts to change in practice face the very real constraints of being imposed upon an already creaking and overstretched service. As the mission statement of the Strategic Partnership points out, ‘funding is a key factor, but we also need to address the organisational and physical barriers to effective delivery’.17

Whilst the prison service is increasingly emphasising purposeful activity, staff are overwhelmed by the demands of containing ever increasing numbers of offenders. Problems of depression, suicide and staff sickness are only some of the indicators of stress within the system, as the growing prison populations place increasing pressure on those resources which are available. In the words of Anne Owers, the Chief Inspector of Prisons: ‘The prison faces a double whammy of fixed or even decreasing resources and the large rise of prisoners. Prisons are being overwhelmed to the extent that some are struggling to provide standards of safety and decency, let alone constructive work to tackle re-offending.’ John Healey’s recent promise to increase annual expenditure on prison education to

£84 million, still represents only 4 percent of the annual £2 billion plus spent on the prison service.18 In the past, this low level of funding has led to erratic provision of often questionable quality, factors compounded by incentive structures within prisons which make it more lucrative for prisoners to spend time employed in menial activities than in education. Prisoners can expect to receive only 24 hours per week of purposeful activity on average. The amortisation of the prison stock suggested by the Minister would potentially allow for community prisons with radically improved designs and regimes, and provides the space to consider the transformations and principles on which a 21st century prison service might be organised. It is important to note that


these are not questions currently being asked by those who are building the prisons of tomorrow. Britain is currently witnessing the biggest prison building programme in history. Yet the ‘new Victorian’ prisons recently constructed (for example Lowdham Grange and Doncaster) are like their predecessors designed for security and control, rather than for the rehabilitation and education that it is increasingly recognised prisoners need. Learning of the quality and breadth we have in mind cannot take place within the few blackboard oriented classrooms and poorly equipped workshop areas that are common to both Wormwood Scrubs and Lowdham Grange even if the best teachers and materials are provided. The privatisation programme and the introduction of PFI (DCMF) and public private partnerships is perhaps the most radical change in the old administrative order, but it too leaves unasked fundamental questions as to the purpose of prisons in the 21st century and the possible relationship between the form of the prison building and the demands of a different forward-looking regime.

Learning Works: The 21st Century Prison ‘We have got to accept the fact that prison must be a humane and constructive place, not least because all but 23 of my population are going home some day’ Martin Narey, Director General of HM Prison Service.19 ‘I would like to see prisoners far more involved in the day to day running of prisons. This might sound like some ‘liberal pinko’ idea but it is not: I believe that such a concept might ensure that our prisons were safer for staff and prisoners and able to operate more effectively’ Clive Fairweather, Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland.20 The Learning Prison of the 21st century will be one which securely contains the individual, whilst moving from a system of external control to one of internal discipline. The purpose of the prison, and the yardstick by which it must be assessed, will be its success in re-integrating individuals into society.


Three things are new. Firstly, learning in the broadest sense lies at the heart of the proposed prison and becomes the principle for transformation of the prisoner and the wider system. Secondly, a new prison architecture is proposed: one which maintains security, but frees up the financial and human resources necessary to support the Learning Regime. Thirdly, the prison is

affordable: escalating costs are curbed by the re-deployment of resources in the short term, and in the medium term savings are made through achieving the Learning Prison’s overarching objective: the reduction of recidivism.

The Learning Prison is not an intellectual or political proposition: our action based research suggests that very real changes can be realistically and gradually progressed through the prison service. The proposals are both affordable and practical. Transformation starts with the re-design of the prison building. Prison architecture has a discernible effect on behaviour, staff interaction and morale, and the performance of planned activities.21 Chapter Two describes in detail the architectural model which would support a new learning organisation and regime. The model has been developed to meet four key objectives: to maintain high security, to directly enable a quality learning programme, to indirectly support the implied cultural change, and to liberate staff resources (time) and financial resources (reduced capital and maintenance costs). The model is not intended to be a blueprint but rather a series of principles which might be adapted to support the Learning Prison. The key element is the introduction of a system which groups prisoners in small communities or ‘Houses’. This House system makes possible two pivotal changes.22 Firstly, the spatial organisation reduces staff time spent on surveillance and escorting prisoners through reducing the number of overall movements necessary. Secondly, the structure places learning facilities at the heart of the building within easy, twenty four hour reach of all prisoners, whilst the quality of the environments is designed throughout to support learning. All aspects of proposed capital works should be assessed according to their potential to support both containment and the programme of learning. The architectural model makes possible a switch in the deployment of resources. An estimated current ratio of 80:20 investment in security: rehabilitation will be reversed to 20:80. Modern construction materials, developments in technology and surveillance techniques and a new spatial design reduce

the human and financial resources currently absorbed in security, as outlined above. The resulting redistribution of resources makes possible the provision of an intense, individually tailored learning programme for each prisoner. It will also make possible the modernisation of the prison service: front line workers will be able to expect improved pay and new, fulfilling roles as members of the learning staff. A new virtuous circle is established. The emphasis on learning will ensure that prisoners can acquire the skills for internal discipline and the vocational/educational qualifications and experience that will enable them to build a meaningful life beyond the prison walls. Thus the Learning Prison becomes one that need only be visited once, freeing up the time and resources that are currently absorbed by repeat offenders. These aims are ambitious and will take time to realise: reducing recidivism rates to 15 percent might be achieved over a 30 year period, taking the example of the lifetime of a PFI contract and applying the thinking to social policy aims. Such a reduction would more than double the resources available to the prison service, and based on the successes found within current practice could, we believe, be achieved.23 To connect with the society beyond the prison walls and build a meaningful life away from crime, we have seen how the ex-offender must be capable of exercising free choice and structuring their behaviour and thinking in order that it falls within acceptable limits. Resources must be integrated around the individual to ensure a process of transformation. Learning in this context is a broad concept which includes, but goes much beyond, the need to increase literacy rates and those activities currently defined as ‘education’. The prisoner must develop emotional, physical and intellectual intelligence. The shift to internal discipline demands a curriculum that combines rigour and creativity; it also demands new attention to motivational factors and learning methodologies. The learning programme is not however designed for the prisoner alone. It is the principle around which roles and relationships are re-structured within the prison service and through which connections are made to institutions beyond the prison walls. The model thus uses learning at all levels: informing the organisation and management of staff who will themselves have their own learning programme and be expected to contribute to continued improvements, and informing the mechanisms by which the prison service as a whole responds and

adapts to best practice. Chapter Three describes in greater detail what we mean by learning and illustrates both the prisoner’s curriculum and the ways in which learning might enable the staged growth of a new organisation with different structures, qualities and outcomes. Ultimately the prison cannot be viewed in isolation: change will depend on the reform of other aspects of the wider justice system and institutions such as education to which the prison service is intimately connected. We suggest that once the initial investment in the prison service is made, various steps are taken to address this wider system; probation, the labour market, courts and the police. To this end our analysis is located in a consideration of the wider social policy context; however our arguments and innovations concentrate in the first instance on the prison service. We start the process by introducing key innovations which, in addition to being affordable and practical, will be the levers for longer term change (these include the virtual presence of probation officers and closer links to the family and community). The Learning Prison is affordable. Smart spending depends upon the pooling of financial, physical and human resources brought about by taking a holistic look at the design of the prison building and the prison regime. There are some crucial aspects in which the prison service would have to spend to save: front loading resources in order to achieve significant medium run gains for both the taxpayer and the exchequer. Areas where initial up front investment might be slightly higher include the prison building and staff training. The rationale for this argument is discussed in greater detail in the chapters which follow. Affordability is one of the key factors which makes the propositions of Learning Works practical: the emphasis throughout the chapters which follow is on principles which can be realistically implemented. Chapter Two discusses the architectural model in greater detail and Chapter Three illustrates the principles of the Learning Regime. The concluding Agenda for Action points towards a number of immediate next steps which might start the process of transformation. Two final points must be emphasised. Firstly, what is on offer is not a blueprint but a strategic framework which needs further thought and development. Secondly, whilst any process of implementation will need to be carefully staged and evaluated, incremental change can only be transformative and effective if all elements are part of a governing vision: the Learning Prison.



The Learning Building Chapter Two

Building on the live work principles now accepted within wider regeneration debates, the prison can be constructed at density levels that allow for constructive containment on land areas up to one third smaller than those currently needed to house a prison population of similar size. The Learning Prison has thus been developed to meet four key objectives: high level security, the integrated provision of learning, affordability and resettlement. This chapter describes the principles of the architectural model which would enable staff and prisoner time to be redirected towards the new learning regime. The architecture helps directly and indirectly in the management of the prisoner, freeing up staff time for learning initiatives and better management. The building mitigates the intense and wasteful aspects of managed movement and security through the organisation of prisoners into viable groups, housed in simple learning spaces adjacent to freely accessible discrete external space. The architecture fulfils both a social and psychological role, through the creation of humane, secure but not repressive environments, and an economic role, crucially by releasing staff time to conduct the new regime. This economic role may extend to the financing of these new prisons. The prison occupies about two thirds of a typical Victorian prison site thus potentially freeing up capital assets within the prison service to reinvest in the new model. Crucially, the building is not just a container, but also an active variable supporting the prison service programme and outcomes.


During the design process, as part of an interdisciplinary team, we questioned each of the components of the prison and the assumptions that give rise to them. These included the cell, the wing, education, employment and leisure facilities as well as visitor provision and the deployment of outside space. In almost every aspect we found the prison stock to be flawed. We found spaces to be inappropriate for their use, and their relative position to be unsuitable.

Currently, the role of the prison officer is to manage the prison population and maintain security. Much of their time is spent moving prisoners between wings, and shuttling them to and from workshops, education, library and association spaces, back and forth from reception, and across to healthcare, counselling and sports facilities. This entails numerous security checks, employs many staff and consumes much of the day, resulting in a regime which leaves little useful time. In the event of a delay a prisoner will be forced to shorten or forego the activity. When there are staff shortages prisoners are restricted to the wing and, in extreme cases, may be locked in their cells for up to 23 hours a day. In a simple study we have shown that with an increase in the number of location-based activities (nodes) there is a multiplying effect on the number of links or possible connections between those nodes. For example, when an organisation consists of one node there are no links, for two there is one, for three there are three, for four there are six, for five there are ten, for six there are fifteen and so on. This observation is formalised in the arithmetic series L = n (n-1)/2 where n is the number of nodes and L the number of links (see fig. 1). The management of each link employs staff time and therefore cost.

Fig 1: The effect on circulation of increasing numbers of location-based activities. The addition of each location-based activity dramatically increases the time and cost of managing circulation.

The architecture of the Learning Prison has been developed to sustain and enable the new learning programme. Through the introduction of an innovative House system, the Learning Prison releases staff and prisoner time for new activities, without compromising the needs for safety and high level security. The model has also taken into consideration recurrent costs, reducing those aspects that have made the traditional radial prison costly to maintain.

It became evident that a conventional prison is a complex place, with a complex morphology. It comprises many parts, each linked to the others in numerous ways. As one of a number of building types developed to accommodate large organisations, the prison’s purpose is to centralise services and hardware in order to achieve economies of scale. Inside a prison activities are centralised, and a dispersed population moves to and from them when required. This is a tried and tested model for efficient Fordist organisations and their buildings. Types ranging from the factory, hospital and supermarket, to the university and prison, are governed by the same principles of economy and apparent efficiency. However, this existing model assumes that moving the majority to the serving minority (people) or hardware is the cheapest option. In the case of the prison this assumption does not seem to apply.

Fig 2: Breakdown of activities as a percentage of an average day.


The House: An Autonomous Live-Learn Unit The Learning model seeks to simplify the prison. This is achieved by creating a series of autonomous physical units or ‘Houses’, in which groups of prisoners may live, work and learn. In this scenario, centralised functions are minimised and specialist staff


Fig 3: A linear relationship between Houses and communal spaces. Access from each House to the communal spaces is via a controlled circulation route.

The live-work model predates the industrial revolution, and with the surge in popularity of tele-working is once again more commonplace. With improved technology and communications this is forecast to grow. Employing space time geography 24 to test its acceptability we have analysed a working adult’s day to illustrate how much time people spend at work, leisure or at home (see fig. 2). We conclude that a prisoner under a new regime would normally be expected to spend 50-90% of the day in the House, and 10-50% in centralised communal spaces.

Chequerboard Arrangement of Internal and External Space Historically prisons are designed with little regard to the shape of external space. This has an effect on access, movement and the use of this external space. It also has security implications. Prisons are planned with object-like buildings floating in a sea of external space bounded by a secure perimeter. The fluid and continuous

nature of these spaces means that once outside a prisoner can move to any point inside the perimeter. This is extremely hard to control and use without intensive management (see plans below). Traditionally, cells are located deep within the building, far from the exterior, requiring further management to access them. Often movement between wings and centralised activities is via outside space, which creates a further barrier to prisoners trying to access centralised services. Our model seeks to concentrate the communal facilities together, and minimise the distance between the Houses and these facilities. Two distinct diagrams were developed: one linear and one centripetal. The first describes a line of circulation with Houses (and gardens) to one side and communal facilities to the other (see fig. 3). The second, the centripetal diagram, envisages a cluster of communal facilities at the heart of the organisation, with a circular array of Houses on the outside (fig. 4). The Learning Works model combines the two. The communal facilities are clustered and into this, a ring of circulation is embedded, in effect a linear arrangement. Above, a ‘table’ of Houses have direct access to the ground floor circulation (fig. 5).25

Fig 6: Model for efficient circulation and accessible external space. External space is freely accessible while access between Houses and communal spaces is controlled.

Fig 5: The Learning Works relationship between Houses and communal spaces. The Houses rest above the communal facilities, with direct access to ground floor circulation.

Fig 4: A centripetal relationship between Houses and communal spaces. A cluster of communal facilities is surrounded by a circle of Houses.

move to the prisoner group. Because the specialists do not need to be accompanied from place to place this is more economic.

0 0

200 metres 600 feet

The existing distribution of prison buildings within their sites (clockwise from top right): HMP Maidstone. Site 20.9 ha. Roll: 544 prisoners. Density: 383 sqm per prisoner. HMP Feltham YOI. Site 15.5 ha. Roll: 894 prisoners. Density: 173 sqm per prisoner. HMP Pentonville. Site 6.2 ha. Roll: 1112 prisoners. Density: 56 sqm per prisoner. HMP Blundeston. Site 18.5 ha. Roll: 424 prisoners. Density: 435 sqm per prisoner.


allow light to reach the external spaces on the ground floor. One hectare could house up to 396 prisoners. Fig 7: The one hectare prison The Houses rest above the communal facilities. The voids in the upper layer of the prison

Ground floor

An Accountable Prisoner Group The Victorian prison established a model, typically a pinwheel from which large linear wings of cells radiate. Wandsworth Prison might be considered typical of this model with 140 to 260 cells per wing. The wing structure facilitates efficient surveillance and, within a regime where prisoners spend large proportions of their day in their cells, large numbers of residents on each wing were not seen to be problematic. Following the Strangeways riots and the publication of the Woolf Report, Britain has been constructing wings for smaller groups of 50-60 inmates. This concurs with a similar policy in the USA and Europe, yet there is no evidence available to ratify this group size. Other comparative institutions and organisations, for example schools and the armed forces, work with group sizes of about 30, where each individual is known and trusted by the community. Models for residential care for the elderly use a group size of 30-40.26 We understand that the latter strikes a balance between anthropological and economic benefit. Key both for staff management and reformative benefit is the opportunity for the prisoner to become personally accountable to their community (the House) for their actions, reducing problems of drugs, bullying and the resulting need for Vulnerable Prisoner Units and Segregation (cells). Prisoners become part of an identifiable group within a larger community.

Fig 8: A House and garden Cells are arranged around three sides of the House. The fourth side opens onto a garden.

First floor

The relationship between the interior, external spaces and circulation will be radically different. We propose that circulation within the site is internal, intelligible and controlled, and therefore efficient. We suggest that access between each House and the communal facilities is controlled, but that there is free access to a specific associated enclosed courtyard from each House and from the communal facilities, requiring only the minimum of surveillance (fig. 6). This enables the prison service to provide time in the open air at any period in the day when the prisoner is not locked in their cell. Accessible, external space is provided close to the cell, the learning environment and the place of vocational learning/ employment. It also imposes a strict spatial logic on the prison. Each House garden and communal courtyard is framed by the walls of surrounding buildings, which eases the management of external space (fig. 7 and 8).



Conventionally a prison cell is tall, long and narrow. Its proportions are most like that of the domestic WC - not a good association for a person to make with their living space (fig. 9). This is exacerbated by inclusion of a WC itself in the room. The result is a room that looks and smells like a WC. Into this we place the prisoner whom we seek to normalise. A cell is also laid out like a badly planned bathroom; in the cell the bed runs parallel to the long wall, as the bath might in a bathroom, which leaves no usable floor space. The proportion of the cell combined with the centrally located door and window imposes a strong sense of order on the prisoner. This relic of Bentham’s Panopticon places the prisoner on an implicit axis between the window (the outside and the light) and the prison officer’s gaze. It is an unnecessary psychological imposition on the prisoner. Finally, the cell is overcrowded with furniture.

Each cell is paired with a neighbouring one – a buddying cell linked by a pair of sliding doors controlled by the individual prisoners, which can be overridden by staff in case of an emergency such as an attempted suicide (fig. 11). This can reduce the risk of inmate self-harm. The research findings of Erving Goffman and Peter Townsend into the idea of the ‘total institution’ and institutionalisation through ‘structured dependency’, concludes in emphasising the importance of choice within an institution.27 Here the prisoners’ ability to choose reduces their dependency, and their institutionalisation, directly improving their life skills and their likelihood of successful resettlement. The capacity to share space and rearrange furniture enables neighbouring prisoners to take the opportunity to enrich their personal accommodation, and in turn their day-today lives. The act of choosing becomes a potent antidote to institutionalisation. Prisoner choice is embodied in both the architecture of the prison and the activityfocused prison regime as described in more detail in Chapter Three. Each cell is provided with an adjoining room (included within the 8m2) accommodating a WC, basin and shower to further simplify the building and reduce pressure on prison staff to manage hygiene and ablutions. Storage is built in beside the table and bed.

Fig 11: Plan view of two cells, showing the lower level on the left and the upper level on the right.

Fig 9: The cell.

Our 8m2 cell is instead planned to be as useful as possible, in particular for learning. The strength of modern-day construction materials has enabled us to locate the bed on the outside wall, at high level, not unlike the top bunk of a bunk bed, visible from the door. The bed is constructed as a monolithic slab, mitigating the risk of hanging. The table, pictured in front of the window, can be moved. Here a networked keyboard and screen provide the necessary tools for study and communication via an

intranet prison cable TV network. The remaining space within the cell is open to use and furnish in a variety of ways (see fig.10).

We must overcome the association with the proportion of the domestic WC - unusually long, narrow and tall. The character of the room is exacerbated by the small, often high central window.


Fig 10: Learning Works cell.

The Cell

The bed in a prison cell is in the same place as the bath in a poorly planned bathroom - both accentuate the length of the room and leave no usable space.

Symmetry plays a part in asserting order on the individual.


the facilities available to the prisoner and prison staff.

We have already explained the principle behind the formation of the House. There are two key principles which characterise the unit. Firstly, the House makes possible a different kind of social integration which more closely replicates conditions in the wider world. Secondly, the House enables forms of activity and movement which make the regime more effective and affordable in the long run. Here we describe its role and

Each House accommodates a number of cells (here 36 in pairs, 12 per floor over 3 floors) describing a U-shape around a central atrium. Below, the lowest floor of the House is laid out around a central space designed for House meetings, leisure and dining. This opens up directly onto a walled garden to the south, and is lit by a large south-facing window and skylight.

Cellular space around the perimeter includes a House office, classroom and subject room (providing for two thirds of the House at any time), kitchen and gym as well as staff and prisoner WCs. The kitchen is staffed by House prisoners who provide three meals a day at set times. Supplies are stored centrally within the communal accommodation. The upper floors also accommodate four rooms for one-to-one mentoring, two multipurpose rooms (treatment/consulting rooms) and a staff

room. Access to and from the House is controlled via a stair and hall with direct access to the Ring (circulation) on the ground floor. This is a key control point within the prison. There are eleven Houses, each accommodating 36 prisoners, making a total of 396 people within the prison walls. The garden, a mix of hard and soft landscaping, can be used for sport, casual games and as a kitchen garden to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs for the House (see figs. 12 and 13).

Fig 12: Cross section of a House and garden resting above the communal facilities and courtyards.

Inside The House


Fig 13: Plan view of each floor of a House.

Fig 14: The arrangement of communal facilities on the ground floor.

4th Floor

3rd Floor

2nd Floor

1st Floor



The Learning Works prison.

Fig 15: Cross section through the Learning Prison.

Learning will be encouraged as an adjunct to all activities within the prison. This would be made possible by the development of a prefabricated pod, a free-standing enclosure not unlike a caravan, which could be installed in any of the communal areas or within their respective courtyards. Here prisoners can take time out from their work or sport to do applied study. The pod is a secure environment housing a computer(s) and associated reference material. The constraints for production are size, weight and manoeuvrability (figs. 16 and 17).

Beyond the Wall

The Prison Environment

The Learning Prison has been designed to be permeable in a number of key aspects which will enhance the prisoner’s future re-integration into society (see fig. 18). Two further Houses are thus located on the outside of the wall. At ground floor level one accommodates security, the pedestrian entry point and a covered holding area for incoming and outgoing vehicles. The other, a visitors’ centre, provides a waiting room, refreshments and counselling facilities for family and friends. Above, the two Houses accommodate prisoners on resettlement programmes, becoming similar to current Category D open prison. These prisoners would be employed during the day in the community, but return to their cells in the evening. A future third scenario might envisage the House replicated within the outside community as a halfway house, perhaps run by the probation service. Key here is the recurring presence of the House, the group and the communities within the wall, outside the wall and beyond. Whilst the model does not envisage space standards changing, the specification of materials and finishes would not be so robust on the outside. Internal layouts of the houses located outside the walls could be replanned to provide family accommodation.

Our prison model focuses on two environmental issues: environmental performance and quality. The prison is designed to meet all existing regulations. All windows are designed to provide 4-5% daylight factor, ensuring that learning (reading and writing) is comfortable on the eye, and that concentration levels are good. The Houses and communal facilities below are laid out ensuring good daylight, solar access and natural ventilation, e.g. the floor to ceiling height (H) is governed by the plan depth from window wall to window wall (6H) of all ground floor spaces. The houses are naturally ventilated from rooftop vents employing stack and venturi effects. Gardens planted with flowers, herbs and small trees will locally shade, re-oxygenate, humidify and create fragrant smells.

Fig 17: A learning pod within a garden.

Fig 16: A learning pod within workshop.

The ground floor, below the table of Houses, accommodates reception, three central workshops providing space for half the prison population to work simultaneously, stores, a shop, a health centre, sports hall, 20m indoor swimming pool, a multi-faith centre, an administration block, visiting area and central library stacks holding up to 20,000 books distributed to the houses in a mobile unit. Each is paired with a directly accessible outside space appropriate to the function. In the south-west corner there is a 5-a-side football pitch with spectator facilities from the controlled space of the visiting area (fig. 14). The total footprint of the buildings including the courtyards and gardens on the upper and lower levels is one hectare. A 6m wide zone between the building perimeter and the internal fence

functions as a road for deliveries. Between the fence and the 5.2m high outside wall there is a 6m wide sterile area. On a larger site, in a rural setting the prison buildings may be extended to accommodate larger workshops and learning facilities.

Fig 18: The Learning Works model prison within society. Learning Works Houses are located within the prison walls, outside the prison walls, and within the community.

Communal Activities



The standard design for the Houses suggests further use of prefabricating techniques using pre-cast concrete components. Here a beam and plank system could be supplemented with pre-cast concrete wall panels, which will give global stability as well as local security. The lowest storey (communal) and garden walls we envisage clad and constructed respectively in sheets of Corten steel. The steel has an inherent protective layer, providing a robust envelope which over time develops a rusty appearance. Above, the Houses can be clad with less robust systems or materials incorporating high levels of insulation and good daylight reflectance to all windows, gardens and courtyards (e.g. timber or render). Maintenance has been a consideration in the design of the prison. The exposed pre-cast concrete superstructure would constitute most of the internal finishes alleviating the need for decoration. Externally the use of Corten steel, although only indicative at this stage, is a material that weathers to form its own protective layer, thereby mitigating the need to reapply protective layers (paint finishes) or to budget for cleaning.


The cost of this new prison could, in part, be funded from capital receipts on existing city-located prisons.

Fig 19: Indicative diagram showing the one hectare prison on the site of Wandsworth Prison.

Our model, with the repetitive block and courtyard plan, lends itself to prefabricated construction. Concrete construction would be robust, durable, and easy to maintain. The repetitious forms would achieve economies with a pre-cast concrete system. This construction can span over communal areas such as the swimming pool and sports hall located at ground level, and support the Houses and walled gardens above.

Careful research would have to be undertaken to establish the optimum sheet thickness. Both inside and out, materials have been chosen for their ability to age or weather well. Local maintenance would be carried out using a mobile rig, moved within the internal or external rings of circulation, with direct access to all courtyards and live-learn units.

For example, the same 1,330 prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs could be accommodated whilst releasing 28% of the site i.e. 1.75 hectares for development. At Wandsworth Prison the model would release 1.3 hectares, which is 31% of the site (figs. 19 & 20).

Conclusion The Learning Prison inverts the Fordist logic of control, moving away from a building predicated on the need for externally imposed regulation. The new model suggests the principles by which security aspects might be maintained whilst a learning regime is introduced through which the individual gradually learns to discipline their own life, firstly as an active member of the House community and later as an active citizen in the wider society. Smart investment would ensure returns on the building over its life. In the Learning Prison there is an invisible pedagogy at work.

Fig 20: Indicative diagram showing a Learning Prison the same capacity as Wandsworth Prison on the existing site.




The Learning Regime Chapter Three

Introduction Learning is the organising principle of the 21st century prison. This chapter explores in greater detail what we mean by learning and shows how we would approach the issues of planning, staffing and operating the prison described in Chapter Two, thus illustrating the broader potential for transformation of the prison service. The Learning Regime builds on the important changes and innovations already within the system, whilst also rethinking some of the premises which remain unquestioned or unquestionable: central among them the false premise that there must inherently be some irresolvable tension between the demands of containment and those of rehabilitation. As described in Chapter One the transition for the prisoner is one from external control to internal discipline. This transition is brought about by a new concept of learning which distributes responsibility between staff and inmates, encourages a commitment to shared values and integrates resources around the individual. Learning in this context is a broad concept which includes, but goes beyond, those activities currently defined as ‘education’ in two key ways. Firstly, learning works on a number of different levels: r 1SJTPOFS MFBSOJOH r 4UBGG MFBSOJOH r 0SHBOJTBUJPOBM MFBSOJOH r 1SJTPO UP QSJTPO MFBSOJOH Secondly, the learning curriculum is not narrowly defined as educational skills. As discussed in Chapter One, there is strong evidence to relate employment with reduced offending. Employment and meaningful lives depend on learning in the broadest sense – balanced development that integrates cognitive, physical and moral education. The prisoner needs, for example, not only to know how to read and write but also to consider the deeper issues which have led to offending behaviour. Evidence shows that the failure to work on the whole person or provide them only with limited skills will not equip the ex-offender to lead a different life in the society beyond the learning gates. By applying this broader principle of learning, a set of operating principles emerge. The Learning Prison will:


r .BYJNJTF PQQPSUVOJUJFT GPS prisoner development without compromising security r 6OEFSUBLF B DPNQSFIFOTJWF BTTFTTNFOU of the individual prisoner’s needs

r *OUFHSBUF SFTPVSDFT BSPVOE UIJT assessment to deliver a tailored learning programme r 1SPWJEF SFQFBUFE PQQPSUVOJUJFT GPS revision and progression r &TUBCMJTI UIF QSJTPO BT B NFEJBUJOH institution between individuals, wider social institutions and their future role in society r &OIBODF UIF SPMF PG 1SJTPO 0GGJDFS BT a meaningful 21st century profession The Learning Regime represents a paradigm shift which will be supported by a reallocation of prison resources both human and financial. There are new roles for prison staff, and different supporting requirements from the prison service at the centre and from other services such as the Probation Service.

Currently prisons emphasise security: an estimated 80 percent of resources are dedicated to surveillance and control and only 20 percent to rehabilitation. The Learning Works model inverts this ratio, maintaining security in a manner which will allow for 80 percent of resources (financial, human and physical) to be dedicated to a programme of learning. The 21st century prison will continue to contain prisoners, although, building on tagging and other modern surveillance and design techniques, this will be done in new ways, allowing for the changes in prisoners’ personal motivation, discipline and rigour which are necessary for meaningful learning and for lasting personal change. Chapter Two has described the physical structure of a prison designed to infuse live-work spaces with opportunities for learning. A series of Houses reduce the need for population movement thus reducing security risks and saving staff time. Activities previously confined to communal facilities will take place in the House, where a wide range of high quality learning opportunities, activities and services will be on offer. Design of the physical structure and advances in ICT make the proposed transformation possible. Is this still a prison? The answer is a resounding yes. The 21st century prisoner whose profile is described below is deprived of their physical liberty and free contact with family and friends: key factors which determine quality of life. The Learning

Prison both in terms of its design and programme is not a place you would choose to go: it is however a place within which you can choose a different future path; a place of potential personal transformation. This chapter summarises who the Learning Prison is for (the 21st century prisoner) before looking in greater depth at the approach to prisoner learning; the three key phases of assessment, curriculum, re-integration, and finally at the role of the 21st century prison officer. It is important to emphasise that the examples given in the sections that follow (for example on the subjects that might be included in the curriculum) are not prescriptive, rather they are intended to illustrate the deeper principles of the Learning Regime.

The 21st Century Prisoner The Learning Prison is flexible and we would anticipate that most of those prisoners currently included in the system of categories A to D, including young offenders, would be suitable candidates for the prison.28 We have not designed the system only to cater for the most hardened of criminals or, conversely, those who are perceived to be less ‘difficult’. We do however believe that sex offenders and the seriously disturbed would not be best served by the prison. These prisoners have very particular needs which can best be addressed by prisons specifically designed for this purpose. Our research suggests that it would be more cost effective in the case of sex offenders, for example, to cluster the individuals and provide a specific programme, taking visitors to this one place. The aim is for a prisoner to spend the entire duration of their sentence within the same prison, thus facilitating both contact with families and the gradual re-integration of the prisoner into the community. Remand prisoners will be held in one reception House and then disbursed throughout the system, further to sentencing. It is important to note that the generic design and proposed operation of the Houses is such that prisoners could be assigned a vacant place in any Learning Prison/House, easing the assignation of prisoners to one location, nearest their home community. The Learning regime makes no assumptions about the backgrounds of the people involved, but adopts a common principle of community living, that everyone will be expected to follow. A loose analogy could be drawn to reality television’s Big Brother household where people are expected to live together, away from society for a specific period of time and to make the most of the time they are there.

We propose an end to the categorisation of prisoners from A to D. Each individual should not be defined by the crime that they have committed or the length of time they are due to spend inside, but rather, a broader set of factors to be considered and elucidated during their assessment. Indeed, we believe that a mixture of people from different backgrounds could lead to speedier rehabilitation as they learn to understand one other.

Prisoner Learning The new approach to prisoner learning can be summarised in six key points. It: 1. Addresses the whole being The Learning programme addresses the whole being – physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational, cultural and spiritual, as follows: t Physical – includes gym activities in the house and team sports in communal spaces, as well as primary care administered in the house and more serious health care in the central medical centre. This also includes drugs treatment and advice in the house. t Emotional – includes peer to peer support within the house, the buddy system, as well as intensive psychological counselling that addresses offending behaviours. It also includes family visits, telephone calls, email, and letters to the community outside, where appropriate. t Intellectual – includes education classes in the house taught by teachers and prisoners alike as well as opportunities for basic skills learning in skills pods throughout the communal areas of the prison. It also covers distance learning courses accessible from House based classrooms, workplace skills pods and individual cells via an integrated learning system operating through an internal TV network. t Social – includes the organisation of domestic activities within the house including cooking, cleaning, eating, laundry, as well as interaction with family members and the community outside prison, where appropriate. t Vocational – includes training courses run within the house by teachers, maintenance staff, gym instructors and the cook. Workplace learning activity within industry workshops will support this programme. The programme will be fully integrated with work placements in the community for certain prisoners and will be linked with future career and work opportunities coordinated by the probation manager.


3. Is voluntary The process of informed decision making must be made real for prisoners. Purposeful activity is closely related to meaningful levels of responsibility. Moreover, prisoner choice is essential to creating ownership, engagement and motivation. The process of making informed choices is also closely related to the development of internal discipline and the prisoner’s capacity to take control of their own lives (as opposed to becoming institutionalised within the given culture and thus increasingly dependent upon the prison regime). Within the House structure, as described in more detail below, prisoners will be able to take increasingly responsible decisions, choosing for example not only what they eat, but how they manage the food budget. 4. Becomes part of a continuum of activities connecting the prisoner to the outside world The curriculum connects the prisoner to the outside world in three key ways. Firstly, the curriculum and qualifications on offer will ‘translate’ across to those on offer beyond the prison gates, giving the ex-offender recognisable qualifications and a C.V. that can include his time spent in training. Secondly, the controlled use of virtual learning and intranets connects the prisoner to learning material, resources and mentors outside the prison. Thirdly, the use of the houses on the prison’s perimeter and the possibilities of day release allow the ex-offender to gradually re-integrate themselves into society.


5. Builds on the opportunities offered by modern technology and ICT in particular The judicious use of technology offers the possibilities of providing a broader curriculum; delivering cost effective learning (for example literacy on line), banking and

5. Transforms the role of the Prison Officer The transition from a regime of external control to one of internal discipline, as described in Chapter One, implies a very different role for the Prison Officer. The role is shaped around the identified needs of the individual prisoner as opposed to being centrally dictated by the institution (see below), and ensures that the Officer’s own learning and contributions are structured and valued.

Late 19th-century photograph of men on the treadwheel at HMP Kingston, Portsmouth, Hampshire.

2. Renegotiates the principles of purposeful activity John Howard’s advocacy of prison reform, discussed in Chapter One, was based on a concern for order, a concern which led in turn to an emphasis on purposeful activity. By the close of the 20th Century, the definition of purposeful activity had however come to include any timetabled activity. The result has been the growth of low value activities (such as painting flower pots), which have little purpose or learning content. The Learning Prison will renegotiate the definition of purposeful activity through careful integration of work and educational activities thus furthering the declared aims of the Strategic Partnership.

maintaining the links with the outside world through video conferencing with social workers and probation officers.29

Assessing Needs Every prisoner will engage in an intensive and comprehensive assessment process on entering the criminal justice system. The assessment builds on existing sentence planning work, educational assessment, risk assessment, physical health and security categorisation. The prison service will develop a sophisticated tool kit for testing that might include a combination of ICT and face to face interviews. Assessments will include medical and drugs tests, cognitive profiling and assessment of learning styles, psychometric tests, basic and key skills assessment, as well as emotional and psychological assessments. Assessments will also depend upon the active contribution of the prisoner.

The aim is to create a coherent, integrated programme through identifying what works for the prisoner and drawing them into an individually tailored learning programme.

ICT training.

t Cultural/Spiritual – includes access to library services, and music, art and performance projects organised with each house and the exploration of faith related activities.

The Learning programme will be used by the prisoner to structure their week, in conjunction with staff. Any work plan is likely to change over time as needs alter and the prisoner develops. The programme will be reappraised by the Head of House at regular intervals to ensure that the activities are in keeping with the needs identified during the assessment. Over the coming years it might be expected that sentencing patterns, and in particular the length of incarceration, would relate to this assessment in general and the successful execution of designed learning activities in particular. Assessment will not be mandatory. Effective learning can only take place in instances where a prisoner (whether


sentenced or on remand) is willing to participate and realises what needs to be changed. For many this diagnosis will be a difficult process which will need to be staggered over time, others may be initially unwilling. The criteria for assessment therefore need to seek and exemplify the prisoner’s potential as opposed to being a confirmation of inadequacies or past failings. Every prisoner will be encouraged to undergo assessment. Those who do not participate will not be able to take part in learning activities, earn money or privileges. Non-participants will also have restricted movement within the House and the wider prison. A comprehensive assessment system will be expensive – the process might take from 5 days to 3 months and expert staff will be required. The importance of front loading resources in some areas in order to safeguard the efficacy of future investment was discussed in Chapter One and assessment is expected to be a key area for initial investment. The assessment needs to be seen in terms of an early investment that provides the foundation for effective use of the programme which follows. There will be some cost savings since prisoners will only be assessed once (currently prisoners are continually assessed not only after repeat offences but when they move from one prison to another) and all records will be centrally stored on a tailored prison service data base.

Comprehensive Curriculum: The Regime In Practice Prisons are currently places where learning takes place. Paradoxically, prison is where Danny, convicted of mugging, learnt how to burn down a school; where Rachel, convicted for handling stolen goods, learnt how the drugs industry works; and where Joseph learnt that in prison other people shop, cook, clean and look after you. Prisoners are learning how to be better criminals or as one Home Secretary put it, ‘Prison is designed to make bad people worse’. Traditionally, this form of learning has been one of the main ways of passing time. There is thus currently both an implicit crime curriculum, where prisoners learn from each other and an explicit, largely classroom based curriculum where formal education activities are offered to prisoners according to a central timetable.


Formal education activities, marginalised in terms of time, human resources and location, currently suffer from some widely recognised limitations. These include the

lack of appropriate materials, the lack of continuity in approach between prisons and between prisons and external institutions, inadequate learning environments, the lack of integration with other prison activities and often lower levels of remuneration offered compared to workshop activities.30 Despite these acute constraints, prison visits reveal numerous examples of excellent practice: these lessons combined with the goals and intentions of improvement as expressed by the Strategic Partnership form the foundation for the Learning Works regime. We have seen for example how small changes in the way prisoners are addressed or receive individual attention can make a big difference. The new curriculum has as its overarching objective a prison where prisoners never return, not because they have learnt how to avoid the police, but because they have the tools to help build a stable and sustainable life for themselves within the rules and constraints set by the wider society of which they are part.

The House system will bring the best of learning practice into the heart of the prison system, providing systems for formal and informal learning, transforming the explicit and implicit curriculum. The Learning Works curriculum emphasises three important themes: Breadth and quality of the curriculum Technology and the reallocation of resources enable the prison to integrate a wide range of high quality learning opportunities, many of which already exist within disparate parts of the prison system, thus creating a comprehensive, holistic learning programme which can meet the needs of each individual prisoner. Given that prisoners have little experience of what engaging learning might be like, the provision of sample courses which can be tried through ‘grazing’ will be important. Learning within this curriculum is no longer seen as necessarily a classroom based activity, but one which also takes place in the workshop, kitchen, garden, house, cell, visitors’ centre and at the dining table. A wide range of activities which would be formally structured to ensure and capture learning activities.

In the 21st century prison learning includes: r working as an administrator doing non-sensitive office work, or becoming the gym instructor, working in a call centre, or building furniture. r teaching others to read and write, to rebuild a car engine, or how to cook. r organising the domestic tasks of independent living. This may include collectively or individually doing the laundry, cooking cleaning, gardening, or maintenance. r socialising by eating meals together, watching TV together, sharing different cultural experiences, or playing sport or other team games. Learning Methodologies The success of the Learning Prison is as much dependent on how learning takes place, as on what is learnt. The prisoner’s previous experience of learning will affect their attitude to different learning styles and the way that they will best learn. We must recognise that in many instances prisoners’ experience of learning at school or college may have been extremely negative. According to figures from the prison inspectorate 130,000 people pass through prison each year. Of these, 49 percent of men and 71 percent of women have no qualifications. Four out of ten do not have the reading, writing or maths skills of an 11-year-old. Half of all male prisoners have previously been expelled from school and a third were regular truants.31 If it is to succeed, the Learning Prison cannot replicate the model of learning that failed most prisoners the first time round. A range of different teaching and learning styles, group and individual learning times and practices will be necessary to re-engage those who have previously failed within or been failed by the formal education system. There is good evidence that a radical new look at learning can be highly effective at changing the economic and social life chances of offenders and those previously excluded from school. Details are important, for example the avoidance of school language. In one extremely successful project, the DfES Ultralab project, where learners were called ‘researchers’ and a portfolio of learning styles were offered, offenders achieved accreditation in the 90 percent range.32 For effective learning to take place attention needs to be paid to both media and symmetry: prisoners may have excellent oral capabilities but poor literacy, or they may favour audio over video, kinaesthetic over notational. These media preferences might also be expected to change as prisoners ‘progress’. Symmetry suggests that whatever prisoners learn should be

displayed and available for contributions. Surfaces will be designed for a show and tell approach which will permeate every part of the prison building. This principle can be seen to be embodied in ‘World Classrooms’, part of the DfES Classrooms of Tomorrow initiative, from which the prison service might borrow. Seamless connections with the outside world

The Learning Prison aims to build a system of learning that has seamless continuity with learning opportunities in the community. The careful tailoring of the formal curriculum, a system of accreditation that is recognised and linked to that beyond the prison gates and the forging of closer connections between prisoners, financial and social systems, and individuals outside the prison will be important. Three examples of potential far-reaching changes that might, over time, forge these connections can be given. The first concerns remuneration systems inside the prison. Payment to prisoners, perhaps in the form of a minimum wage, alternatively in the form of a prison based or electronic currency (that might be converted on release) would not only help prisoners to value the learning available, but more importantly provide a basis from which they could learn about personal financial management and save to support their re-integration into society on their release.33 The second example envisages the use of technology and video conferencing to ensure that the prisoner maintains contact with families and those institutions and officials responsible for their welfare before and after the period of imprisonment. The design of the prison shows houses on the outside of the perimeter wall (see Chapter Two) which might be used during a period of re-settlement for various activities, including reuniting prisoners with their families. Ensuring the mediation of such linkages is part of the enhanced role of the prison referred to in Chapter One. The third example concerns accreditation systems, already touched on above. The world of accreditation is itself undergoing considerable change and a coincidence of timing places the development of the Learning Prison alongside some major assessment developments.34


Hairdressing class at HMP Downview, Surrey.

Linear assessment has in the past been an insurmountable barrier for many prisoners, damaging to both learning and self-esteem. New developments mean that the prison can take advantage of alternative strategies and still maintain accreditation strategies that are meaningful in the world beyond the prison gates. Learning is the route through which a physically impermeable institution can develop permeable ‘walls’, ensuring that the experience of prison is developmental rather than regressive.

The House

Inmate welding, HMP Dartmoor, Devon.

Prison regimes have traditionally focused on activities located in separate locations: domestic activities on the wing; work in industrial workshops; education in the classroom or in the gym. The disruption and expense caused by moving prisoners and staff between locations for home, work and education activities has been discussed in Chapter Two.


Most of the work and education in the prison will now take place within the prisoner’s House. We aim to bring together professionals who can work within the Houses as a team, to facilitate a coherent, joined up programme of learning for each prisoner. The team will collaborate to address the work, education and domestic needs of each prisoner. The House, as described in detail in Chapter Two, is a domestic live-work space designed to house 36 prisoners as a quasi-autonomous secure unit that provides access to psychology services, probation services, education services, drugs services, and administrative services. The house is structured in such a way that the prisoners are free to move around the house as they please throughout a 12 hour day without compromising security. The day will be split into breakfast, morning, lunch, afternoon, tea, evening, and bed time. The core hours of the day will be used for the learning activities described above. The proximity of the activities to the prisoners is intended to encourage motivation and participation. The seamless integration of all learning areas also discourages a mentality that distinguishes between ‘learning’ and ‘not learning’. Other periods of the day will be used to discuss community business and for semi-structured social meetings and leisure activities.35 The organisation of the community will depend upon learning processes if the whole prison population is to contribute to their prison and the learning ethos is to be understood as a culture of integrity.

At any time, the prisoner will be able to retire to their unlocked cell and conduct their learning either with books or by accessing their learning modules via the internal digital TV network. Thus, if a prisoner is more inclined to learn at night or wishes to work alone, they can do so. Since many students study in their bedrooms, this is consistent with our replication of community living. Libraries and IT based self-learning will facilitate the quality of this work. Personal sessions with the tutor will take place in the one-to-one rooms and the room will be left in the charge of a trusted prisoner in their absence. Prisoners will be encouraged to tutor each other using a framework provided for them. This framework will be the same as that set up for the tutors. Prisoners interested in providing tutoring as a job once they are released will be encouraged to train in this role as work experience.

Communal Areas There will also be opportunities for the prisoners in each house to go into the communal area of the prison. Once inside the communal area, each prisoner will have free access to most spaces within this area, but will need to be accompanied to the workshops. The communal spaces would be used for the following activities: r Workshops – the prisoners will have the option of defining what work they wish to undertake from a series of options, co-ordinated by the Prison Service centrally.36 Computer based work will be an alternative option to workshop based activities. Work might include word processing, cataloguing and database management, all activities which are successfully integrated in prisons in the U.S. r Sports – house teams will produce the spirit of competition with leagues and oneoff competitions. Families of the prisoners will be invited to watch the finals of these matches. The type of sport played will depend on the prisoners’ requests but are likely to be football, basketball, netball, rounders, tennis, as well as personal sports such as swimming. Different gym masters will specialise in different sports and provide refereeing and training. r Faith based activities – there will be a peace space where prisoners can go and reflect. Representatives of particular faiths will come from outside as requested and attend to prisoners in one-to-one sessions. r Seeing visitors. r Special healthcare – for health issues that cannot be resolved in a visit from a health worker.


r Working in the prison – a privilege will be to work in the communal areas such as the deliveries, store, plant area, administration, garden, peace space, pool, pond, library. r Volunteering – working with people visiting the prison (in 60 percent of prisons, groups from the community come into the prison and interact with the prisoners, especially the elderly, disabled and children). r Main library – particularly for reference books and law related material.

Beyond The Walls Certain prisoners will have opportunities to leave the prison for training, volunteering and community service.37 They will also be encouraged to use this time to visit organisations that provide assistance to prisoners once they have been released. By locating the establishments where they can get help, whilst still in prison, prisoners may feel more comfortable about leaving and finding a refuge, if they cannot cope very well on the outside.

The Learning Prison Officer The role of the Prison Officer is transformed within the Learning Prison. The prison, as we have seen, is a learning organisation with all the agility and responsiveness that results. This cultural change permeates the ethos and structure at every level.

The prison officers are not only teachers within this new system, but equally importantly, they are learners. It is important, for example, that Prison Officers too see themselves as action researchers with valuable insights to offer and that the institution can continue to evolve in response to the creativity and innovations developed by Prison Officers.


Prison Officers will be expected to have their learning managed and clear measures of personal progress will need to be put in place. A process of change will start with opportunities for formal change and structured ‘on the job’ learning. Pay and conditions will improve in keeping with the new job description and responsibilities. This combination of structured learning opportunities and improved pay, combined with the challenge and potential rewards that will be reaped by working with prisoners on their own transformation, has the potential to radically change the profession and, once again, to place the role of Prison Officer in the vanguard as the modern public servant. Whilst security specialists will be maintained and all staff will continue to be trained in control and restraint, the predominant role is one of an enabler. Staff duties are informed by the need to plan, review and facilitate the individual learning programme developed for each prisoner, and the need to mediate on the prisoner’s behalf with institutions in the wider society. Communication skills and an appropriate level of shared team culture will be key: abilities and roles which are already developing within the prison establishment. Senior management have in recent years been trained in building on their emotional experiences to develop personal leadership (as opposed to a form of leadership which depends upon a hierarchical structured position) and many Prison Officers play key therapeutic roles.38

Conclusion The Learning Regime builds on innovations introduced by many of the Prison Service’s best officers, who currently may receive little recognition or be working against the official grain. The move from external control to internal discipline provides the opportunity for Prison Officers to take on new and challenging roles. Ensuring their own learning continues will be an important part of the 21st century profession ensuring learning is transferred between staff and between prisons. The principle behind the Learning Prison is that every object from the design of the environment to the nutritional value of the food should have some duty of communicating learning and some feedback loop to incorporate the contributions of prisoners and Prison Officers. Finally, it should be noted that the Learning Prison and Regime is not intended to be the solution to the future development of prisons, rather the principles exemplify the ethos and mechanisms by which that constantly evolving development might occur. It is interactive and participative by design. On the following page, we highlight how we can put our findings into action.

Prison staff are predominantly located within the Houses (although some allowance has been made for central office spaces in the communal areas). The devolved location of staff is crucial to the development of the House community and for the development of a different relationship between Officers and prisoners. During the development of the learning model, prison wage bills were analysed, causing us to believe that the staffing structure would not increase current operating costs, even in scenarios where salaries offered are more attractive. Further analysis needs to be carried out and, as mentioned in Chapter One, initial training may incur upfront investments.


A redesign of the prison building maintains security at the highest levels, whilst liberating the human and financial resources that are necessary for a programme of rehabilitation: the learning agenda. Learning, which in this context includes but goes beyond the teaching of basic skills, is made possible by organising both the physical spaces of the prison and the time-tabling of the prison day around a new curriculum. The Learning Prison is one which the majority of prisoners will visit only once, acquiring the skills for internal discipline and a meaningful life beyond the prison walls. The aims are ambitious, but affordable the principles proposed can be achieved within current spending levels and offer real potential for longer term financial gain.


The following are seven points for action: r $POTVMUBUJPO XJUI QSJTPO PGGJDFST BOE prisoners, expanding the preliminary workshops which have been carried out by the Learning Works team r %FWFMPQ TJNQMF NFDIBOJTNT GPS UIF piloting and testing of new staff roles, and ways of systematically capturing the results as a first step in the Learning Regime r &YQBOE UIF SFNJU PG UIF 4USBUFHJD Partnership to include responsibility for employability and access to paid work r *OWFTUJHBUF UIF TDPQF PG POF QSJTPO rebuilding programme which might be a candidate for starting the Learning Works process r 5XJO UIF EFWFMPQNFOU PG UIF OFX QSJTPO with a site where redevelopment of the existing prison would generate net gains for the tax payer and the Exchequer

An Agenda for Action

Learning Works workshops with staff and prisoners at HMP Wandsworth.

There is currently a unique opportunity to transform the prison service. This publication has argued that radical change can realistically be brought about on a step by step basis if future investments are guided and evaluated by the principle of learning.

r %FWFMPQ B TZTUFN GPS FWBMVBUJOH QSPQPTFE prison design projects which emphasises full life costing of buildings and wider learning targets r 4VTUBJO BOE FYQBOE BO JOUFSEJTDJQMJOBSZ partnership that would be needed to further develop the integrated set of proposals outlined in the current publication.








On 17th May 2002, there were 70,683 prisoners: statistics. This is an increase from 42,000 in 1993: Home Office Statistical Bulletin 2/98. Spending per prisoner varies widely between prisons, however in 2000 annual KPIs show that the average cost per prisoner was £27,022: Hansard 10th May 2001. It is important to note that this is an average figure; expenditure at HMP Reading for example is £30,000 per prisoner per year. This can be compared to the £2,700 average annual expenditure on a secondary school pupil in the state sector or the £4,500 average annual cost of public school fees (Hansard January 2002 and The Independent Schools Information Service respectively).


Woolf Report 1991.


Protecting the Public 1996.


Figures provided by the Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Rooker) to Parliament: Hansard 16th July 2001.


Prison Reform Trust 2001.


Ministerial statement 19th January 2002.


Blackstone and Boateng 2000.


John Healey. Adult Skills Minister, hhtp:/ story/0,550,716044,00.html

Comptroller and Auditor General 2002. At least 60 percent of the prison population have basic skills at level 1 or below, making them ineligible for 96 percent of all jobs: Marie Devall, DfES Life Long Learning News; summer 2001.


The Guardian, 9th May 2002.


Carter 2001; 17. Figures supplied by HMP Construction Unit, indicate that £465 million has been spent on building prisons in the last three years, with a further £250 million budgeted for the coming year. Projected expenditure will not be sufficient to meet the estimated maintenance bill of £950 million over the next five years.


Morris and Rothman 1998:76.


ibid: 82.


Interestingly Bentham offered to run his model prisons under contract, an idea which was rejected decisively by the government commission of the day who were horrified at the idea of a prison privately managed for profit (ibid: 85).


See Foucault 1975 and Graef 2000.


See Bentley 1998 for an excellent discussion on social change and role of education.


The Guardian, 2nd February 2001.


Fairweather 2002.


Cottam et al. (2002) examine empirical evidence around the connections and complex relationships that exist between the quality of the built environment and the outcomes of learning.


HMP Stile in Cheshire works sucessfully on a House-based system.


At Blantyre House for example, where education services have been increased to 16 hours a day in a redesigned environment, recidivism rates have been reduced to 8 percent. Blantyre House does not of course accept some of the most difficult prisoners and thus our targets have been revised upwards. We would suggest that over time performance indicators for private contractors are based upon their long term success at securing prisoner re-settlement.


Hagerstrand 1975.


The logic behind this arrangement is increasingly common in post Fordist Networked institutions where organisations are integrated around hubs. Communication takes place between hubs, that is horizontally across the organisation as opposed travelling through a centralised control point.


For example the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is currently developing new strategies that see the learner ‘defending’ their work through new speech to text telephone technology.

Torrington 1996: 16. “Experts in the field of advocate small homes for 30 or at the most 40 residents, organised in family groups”.


This pattern of activity is very similar to that already in practice at HMP Grendon.


We would suggest that this is a role undertaken by the Strategic Partnership. Experience shows that it is difficult for individual prisons to negotiate contracts with employers, and the integration of the Strategic Partnership would be to enhance the prison establishment in its mediating role.


Day release training is currently being pioneered by YOI Reading.


The Tavistock Institute has been training senior management for a number of years. Prison Officers at HMP Grendon perform many of these roles: job satisfaction is high and staff turnover low. Prison Officers who take part in the work of the therapeutic community learn on the job after minimal (one to two week) induction training.


Goffman 1968, Townsend 1964.


We assume that the prisoner could be male or female; however we have concentrated on the male offender, given that the majority of those incarcerated are young men.

29 19

See Castells 1997 for a summary of the ways in which complex environments and institutions are increasingly finding Networks to be an efficient mode of management and communication.

Technology developed for example by Pearson for U.S. Penitentiaries shows the possibilities of providing on line learning and other resources which can be effectively fire walled both to ensure prisoner privacy and prevent unwanted contact with sites or individuals beyond the prison walls.


For example, there are no appropriate adult literacy materials or anything but the most basic software for computer and technology training, a concern of OFSTED inspectors. In many prisons, materials are poorly matched to prisoner needs, so, for example, life prisoners have nowhere to progress once they have completed the basic skills courses on offer. The disparity between approaches and materials in different prisons causes further difficulties for the prison learner, who can rarely make connections between courses inside and outside prison or between prisons when they are transferred.


The Guardian, 15th May 2002




Compare with current practice where prisoners are released with phone numbers or taken to hostels. Prisoners can then disappear from view, with an increased danger of re-offending and much expense caused to the Probation Service in trying to track individuals down. Initial calculations show that a ‘banking’ practice would be more cost effective and efficacious than support provided through the Probation Service, which is not market related.



Bentley T, 1998 Learning Beyond the Classroom London: Routledge Blackstone T and Boateng P, 2000 Improving Prisoners’ Learning Skills a New Strategic Partnership Home Office, HM Prison Service, DfES Braggins J, 2002 Shared Responsibilities: Education for Prisoners at a Time of Change NATFHE and the Association of Colleges Brodie A et al., 1999 Behind Bars, The Hidden Architecture of England’s Prisons Swindon: English Heritage Carter P, 2001 Review of PFI and Market Testing in the Prison Service HM Prison Service Castells M, 1997 The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture: Volume I: The Rise of the Network Society London: Blackwell Comptroller and Auditor General, 2002 Reducing Prisoner Offending National Audit Office Cottam H et al., 2002 Learning Buildings London: School Works Ltd. Fairweather C, 2002 Prisoner as Citizens Howard League seminar, 13 March 2002 Fairweather L, 1992 In: The Architect’s Journal 2nd September 1992, 28-42 Farrant F and Levenson J, 2002 Barred Citizens: Volunteering and Active Citisenship by Prisoners Prison Reform Trust Faulkner D, 2002 Prisoner as Citizens Howard League seminar, 13 March 2002 Foucault M, 1975 Discipline and Punish London: Routledge Goffmann E, 1968 Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation Of Mental Patients and Other Inmates Hanmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin


Graef R, 2000 Why Restorative Justice? Repairing the Harm Caused by Crime London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Hagerstrand T, 1975 Space, Time and Human Conditions. In: Karlquist A, Dynamic Allocation of Urban Space Farnborough: Saxon House HM Inspectorate of Prisons and Probation Themetic Review, 2001 Through the Prison Gate HM Prison Service, 2001 The Government’s Strategy for Women Offenders Consultation report HM Prison Service, 1999 Prisoners’ Information Book. Male Prisoners and Young Offenders London: Prison Reform Trust HM Prison Service, 2001 Safer Prison Building Requirements Home Office Statistical Bulletins House of Commons Hansard Debates Koolhaas R, 1997 S, M, L, XL 2nd edition Koln: Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH Leech M, 1999 The Prisons Handbook. 3rd edition Winchester: Waterside Press

Torrington J, 1996 Care Homes for Older People: a Briefing and Design Guide London: SPON Townsend P, 1964 The Last Refuge London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Toy M et al., 1994 Architecture of Incarceration London: Academy Editions Tumim S, 1997 The Future of Crime and Punishment London: Phoenix Woolf, 1991 Prison Disturbances April 1990 – Report of the Inquiry London: HMSO Other organisations: Howard League for Penal Reform ( The Independent Schools Information Service ( National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NAICE) ( NACRO (

Lifelong Learning News Summer 2001, DfES

Prisoners Education Trust (

Markus T A, 1993 Buildings and Power. Freedom and Control in the Origin of Modern Building Types London: Routledge

Prisoners Learning and Skills Unit RAPt (

Mathiesen T, 1990 Prison on Trial London: Sage Morris N and Rothman D J, 1998 The Oxford History of the Prison: The Practice of Punishment in Western Society Oxford: Oxford University Press

Revolving Doors Agency ( Women’s Policy Team Women’s State Policy Unit in Prison Services

National Statistics Time Use Statistics, April 2002 ( Pryor S, 2001 The Responsible Prisoner: an Exploration of the Extent to Which Imprisonment Removes Responsibility Unnecessarily Home Office Prison Reform Trust Annual Report, 2001 Shine J, 2000 A Compilation of Grendon Research Bucks: HMP Grendon


Matthew Horne

Hilary Cottam initiated and directs the Learning Works project. She is a specialist in urban regeneration with a particular interest in the relationship between the built environment and social policy. Previously working with the World Bank, Washington DC. Hilary is currently Director - Learning and Public Services at the Design Council, as well as being the founding Director of School Works Ltd and The Do Tank Ltd. Educated at Oxford, Sussex and the Open University she has a PhD. in social sciences and has recently completed a visiting fellowship at the LSE.

Matthew Horne is a researcher at Demos, co-ordinating work on life long learning and community renewal. Educated at Cambridge, he has previously studied the interaction between the built environment and individual well-being and mental health. He is responsible for much of Demos’ education work. Demos is an independent think tank committed to radical thinking on the long term problems facing the UK and other advanced industrial societies.

Simon Henley Simon Henley studied Architecture at the University of Liverpool (1986-1992) and at the University of Oregon, USA in Eugene (1990-1991). He was awarded the Reilly medal in 1992. Simon is now one of four partners of Buschow Henley and has taught at The Bartlett (UCL), Kingston, North London, Liverpool and Oregon, USA University schools of Architecture. He was shortlisted for Young Architect of the Year 2002.

Grace Comely project managed the Learning Works model development process and contributed to the essays in this publication. Grace works full time for School Works Ltd, where she is responsible for a range of projects working with schools and other partners in the construction industry. Previously she worked for a private regeneration partnership, where she was responsible for co-ordinating community consultation and generating links between local schools and businesses. She has a degree in geography from Durham University.

Buschow Henley

The Team

London-based architectural practice Buschow Henley is Ralph Buschow, Gavin Hale-Brown, Simon Henley and Ken Rorrison together in practice since 1995. Their architecture focuses on the social and psychological aspects of building. The practice has won two RIBA Awards for Architecture: 20-21 Newman St, London (2002) and 10-22 Shepherdess Walk, London (2000); and a number of high profile international competitions for education buildings and live work regeneration sites. The work of this award-winning practice has been published internationally.

The authors are part of an inter-disciplinary project team which also included Louise Hind (Assistant Staff Offices, HM Prison Service), Fiona Radford (Prison Governor Wandsworth and formerly HMI), Stephen Heppell (ICT specialist and founder/director of Ultralab) and Roger Graef (award winning film maker and criminologist). All team members have contributed greatly to the development of the ideas presented in this publication. They are not however responsible or accountable for the final conclusions drawn by the authors.

Grace Comely

Our thanks also go to the following for their support, constructive criticism and advice: Peter Bishop, Yolande Burgin, Camilla Cavendish, Jerry Chamberlain, Alan Clarke, Frances Crook, Nick Crowe, Ros Diamond, Julienne Hanson, Ted Harding, Sarah Hill, David Kent, Patricia Lankester, Mick Lydon, Bill Massam, Stephen Moore, Chris Morgan, Paul Morrell, Martin Narey, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Bridget O’Brian Twohig, Pat O’Leary, Richard Powell, Ed Pyke, Sir David Ramsbotham, Penny Robson, Brian Stickley, Jessica Symons, Michelle Thomas, Lisa Thompson, Sir Stephen Tumim, Vanni Treves, Kevin Wilson, Trevor Wilson Smith.


About the Authors 54

Hilary Cottam


Published in July 2002 by The Do Tank Ltd. The Do Tank brings together practical knowledge, specialist expertise and theoretical developments to address intractable social issues. An innovative approach links practice to policy and emphasises real, concrete change. The architecture of The Learning Building (Chapter Two) was designed by Architects Buschow Henley (Ralph Buschow, Gavin Hale-Brown, Simon Henley, Craig Linnell, Franzi Lindinger, Ken Rorrison, Ben Stagg) in conjunction with Whitby Bird & Partners Engineers and cost consultants Davis, Langdon and Everest. Essay by Simon Henley - © Buschow Henley 2002. Figures 1-8 & 18-20 - concept and design by Buschow Henley, artwork by Form®. Figures 9-17 by Buschow Henley. Book design by Paula Benson and Tom Crabtree at Form®. Learning Works model photographs on pages 6, 7, 14, 15, 30, 31, 36 & 37 © Andrew Putler. Images on pages 11, 19, 41 & 44 © Crown Copyright. NMR. Images on page 48 taken from footage shot by Marja Kurikka for Films of Record. Printed by The Good News Press. © 2002 The Do Tank Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, including photocopying, recording or otherwise, without having obtained prior written permission from the publisher. The Do Tank Ltd. 31 Grange Walk London SE1 3DT Email: ISBN 0-9543055-0-7