Questions for monitors
Which authority/organisation(s) is/are responsible for providing prison education?
Is formal education in prisons integrated within the public education system (using curricula, materials and teachers from this system)?
Does the prison provide a programme of formal and informal education aimed at the full development of the person, including: primary and secondary education, literacy and numeracy skills, higher education and vocational training?
Does the prison ensure that all children of compulsory school age receive schooling integrated in the public education system, taught by qualified teachers and as far as possible undertaken in the community?
Is education for detainees who lack basic literacy skills provided on a compulsory basis?
Is compulsory education provided free of charge, along with as many additional education programmes as possible to avoid barriers to access based on resources
Does the prison actively encourage participation in education programmes? Does it provide incentives? How are schedules arranged – are efforts made to ensure that educational programmes do not clash with other activities?
Are there factors which impede access to education in practice (for example security considerations, operational imperatives, corruption, informal detainee hierarchies)?
What is the quality of teaching? What are the conditions for teachers (salary, working conditions, incentives? Are they appointed by the ministry responsible for public education?
Can detainees receive nationally recognised diplomas/certificates on completion of courses?
Is the outside community (for example cultural and volunteer groups) involved in the provision of non-compulsory prison education?
Does the prison administration make use of resources within the detainee population to provide peer learning (for example on basic literacy and numeracy)?
Does the prison maintain a well-funded and accessible library, stocked with an adequate and appropriate range of resources and technology available for all categories of detainees?
Are books and journals available in minority and foreign languages?
Are there indications of discrimination in accessing education, for example on the basis of sentence length, security category, against persons in situations of vulnerability?
Do women have access to the same breadth and quality of education as men in detention? Are there any indications of discrimination (poorer quality, gender stereotypes, and barriers to access) for women?
Do children living with their mothers in prison have the same access to education as children outside the prison (e.g. preschool education)?
Do girls have access to the same breadth and quality of education as boys in detention? Are there any indications of discrimination (poorer quality, gender stereotypes, and barriers to access) for girls?
Do persons with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in accessible and relevant education in prison, adapted to their specific needs? Do persons with disabilities suffer barriers (e.g. discrimination, stigma, physical barriers) accessing education programmes? Is the prison able to identify and meet the distinctive educational needs of persons with learning disabilities?
Do foreign national detainees and those from minority groups have the same access to education as other detainees (if necessary in other languages)?