A report by The University of Roehampton on fourteen years of prison reading groups.
The Prison Reading Group project began in 1999 and has helped set up over 40 groups in male and female prisons. They are run by volunteers with the help of prison librarians and meet the needs of each setting: some are monthly and some weekly; some tie in with Family Days; some involve reading aloud, and so on.
The report makes the case for reading groups as informal learning in prison, and provides extensive evidence of the benefits of the groups, including enhancing literacy and skills for employment, developing empathy and fostering respect. Evidence is included from prison governors, policy makers, librarians, volunteers and above all the prisoners themselves.