Getting to know NECE Projects: Sara Alfia Greco ‘Young Offender Institutions between Social Rehabilitation and Citizenship Education’

Sara Alfia Greco (AGORA, Leibniz University of Hannover)

"I am in prison!" This is the message a young former prisoner felt carrying around even after his release like a tag on the forefront. What does Citizenship Education have to offer for young people in German prisons? The story was told to Sara Alfia Greco from AGORA research group at Leibniz University of Hannover. At the NECE project market she has presented her research project "Young Offender Institutions between Social Rehabilitation and Citizenship Education".

6000 people between the age of 14 to 24 years are currenly imprisoned in Germany. "If they are still in the age of compulsory education they attend public school in prison as well as extra projects for 'social reintegration' in the afternoon, often provided by external organisations", Ms. Greco explains. "Within 'social reintegration' programmes young prisoners are often offered so called social learning like conflict management, violence prevention and social therapy. But more citizenship education aiming at their political agency is needed. Are education programmes supporting young prisoners in developing and articulating their opinions and to demand their rights?"

The research project investigates the state of citizenship education concerning the learning material (curricula, conceptions, programmes offered) as well as an analysis of the criteria of citizenship education applied. For the next two to three years the project will analyze, assist during classes and programmes as well as interview teachers, trainers and the young prisoners.

"At NECE conference we are looking for practitioners to cooperate in developing new conceptual, didactic and pedagogic methods and materials based on our findings", Ms. Greco says. Her goal is to develop practical modules based on the findings so that research can be applied in the practical field of citizenship education for young prisoners.

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