Selected prisoners will now have access to educational websites following the launch of Secure Online Learning at Rimutaka Prison.
The SOL programme will be implemented nationwide after a successful six-month pilot with young prisoners at Christchurch Men’s Prison, Minister of Corrections Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says in a statement.
The programme allows ‘carefully selected’ prisoners to securely access 12 educational websites. No other websites are available to them, Lotu-Iiga says.
SOL will replace paper based-assessment and learning processes, which the minister says are prone to inaccuracies.
“Many education and training providers are moving to online delivery and employers are increasingly seeking employees with basic IT skills,” he explains.
“Prisoners need to be confident working in an online environment. Educational achievement is important and the reality for many prisoners is that they will reach their first academic milestone in prison.
“By giving more prisoners access to programmes that improve their literacy and numeracy skills, they can gain qualifications and participate meaningfully in rehabilitative programmes and employment training,” Lotu-Iiga says.
“We know that individuals who have a job are less likely to commit offences so by increasing the skills prisoners have on release, we will increase their chances of getting a job.”
Secure Online Learning will be implemented nationwide by June 2017.