An examination of the ideology of rehabilitation through education in the prison services: in particular an analysis of the Options programme in Mountjoy prison, with the proposal of a follow on programme in the form of therapeutic group work as exampled in Grendon prison

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Ward, Lucille
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BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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A quantitative and qualitative examination was undertaken of a cognitive based Education programme for offenders in Mountjoy prison. The primary sources of data were the participants who had completed the Programme in December 2000 and the Governor and Officers involved in the Programme. Qualitative research was carried out so as to gather data in relation to participants. The questionnaire was designed thematically in order to examine their attitudes having completed the Programme and what, if any, follow up would be deemed appropriate. Quantitative research was used in the form of in-depth interviews with the Governor and Officers involved in the Programme, so as to supplement the information gathered in the questionnaires and to understand the Programme, from a management perspective. The results obtained reflected the programme in a very positive light and in particular highlighted the need for a follow up. The literature reviewed considered the role education and rehabilitation has played in the development of the prison systems. In particular the inherent conflict presented when this is contrasted with the traditionally primary roles of security, control and safety. The discussion focuses on the themes of the questionnaires and the interviews and issues arising, in particular it examines the possibility of a follow up programme involving a formally structured group therapeutic process as a possible model.