The purpose of the project is to address the digital and media exclusion of young individuals, who are socially and geographically marginalised; namely young prisoners. Research evidences (Hurry, Brazier, Wilson, Emslie-Henry, & Snapes, 2010; Shippen, Houchins, Crites, Derzis, & Patterson, 2010) show that prisoners are less literate than non-offenders, they are especially lucking of ICT skills. The imprisonment worsened their situation as they kept away from the internet, social media and any media device. When these people are released from prison, they are unable to adjust to the current world demands, they cannot find a job or cope with everyday living. Surely, they are unable to be integrated into society. As a result, it is very easy to reoffend and to reside back in prison. The project aims to develop and implement innovative methods and practices:

– to foster inclusion of these young people and

promote to them common values with the rest of the society, through media literacy.

This purpose will be achieved through a training program addressed to them.

The curriculum, the methodology and the content of the educational program of young prisoners and prison staff developed based on previous successful programs (PEBBLE, ELMIP, MediaCoach) and evidence based programs, as well as new innovative elements.

The digital inclusion curriculum content for young prisoners includes four basic elements:

(1) Digital skills and literacy (e.g., ICT knowledge and skills of various basic software, basic media applications, etc.), and

(2) Media literacy (e.g., electronic games, addiction, advertising in social media, the role of social media in friends’ and family’s circles, false or distorted information, influence of media networks on physical and psychological health, cyberbullying, sexting, identity formation in social media, etc.).

(3) Role model testimonials and discussion of the influences of the role models.

(4) Small project

The young prisoners, between 16 to 35 years old, from the participating countries, benefit from the program, in the following ways:

  • They are empowered through the ICT and media literacy skills and competences to take control over personal, social and economic conditions which will improve their life situations during incarceration and/or probation period that would have lasting effects for their reintegration to society;
  • They develop their citizenship skills by digital integration;
  • They develop their citizenship skills by digital integration;
  • They acquire potential for employment after their release by developing digital skills and competences;
  • They strengthen their communicational, and interpersonal skills as well as their self-esteem, through ICT literacy and media literacy;
  • They become able to establish a solid base of values and beliefs connected with mainstream social processes.

At the same time Prison staff in each partner country trained in order to acquire the necessary skills to empower, raise the interest and generate social discussion of young prisoners. The curriculum content for prison staff will include an advanced of media literacy curriculum.

Specifically, the project supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are digitally excluded, such as young prisoners, to foster digital and media skills and competences, through partnerships of universities, research and educational organisations and non-formal sector, such as prisons.

Prison staffs that play an important role in the everyday lives of young prisoners, are also trained to become media coachers. The training of prison staff has positive benefits for the young prisoners, as the whole environment in prison will be digital and media literacy promoted. The present consortium developed, implemented and evaluated innovative, interactive, creative, technologically advanced methods and practices to foster inclusive education for young prisoners and promote ICT and media literacy in order to increase their chances of desistance after their release and to reintegrate into society embracing common values.

Despite the fact that prison education plays an important positive role in prisoners’ rehabilitation process as it may offer them valuable skills necessary for their smooth reintegration into society and for securing employment and possibly further education and training, it is not always a straightforward process. The project has to overcome the different educational level of prisoners and encourage and motivate them to develop current digital literacy skills, in an environment where internet and subsequently any social media toolboxes are forbidden.

Target groups

The project focuses on two (2) immediate target groups (young prisoners and prison staff) and two indirect target groups (professionals and general public).

Immediate target groups:

1. Young prisoners aged 15 to 35 (male and female young convicts, independent of ethnic background, educational level, language and religion) in all five (5) participating countries, who are serving their sentence during the period of the project. The number of young prisoners in each country will be 30.

2. Prison staff (correctional officers, guards, management staff etc.) who have a key role to play in the training of young prisoners in all participating countries in all five (5) participating countries. The number of prison staff in each country will be 30.

Indirect target groups:

1. Professionals working with young prisoners (awareness events) in all participating countries. Around 50 professionals from each country (250 in total), who are working with young prisoners will have the opportunity to learn about the program and discuss the chances that these young prisoners have for reintegration into society and adopt common values after their digital and media literacy training. These professionals could be teachers, psychologists, social workers, educators, special teachers, doctors, lawyers, volunteers, policy makers, etc.

2. General public (dissemination activities) at local, national and international level. There will be several dissemination activities, press conferences, final conferences, through web-side, face book, etc. where the general public will learn about the program.