Implementation, intervention, and impact – Prison Research

Almost 50% of prisoners have some form of learning disability; there is a huge barrier in educating these individuals.

Scanning Pens attended the recent Prison Learning Alliance Conference (PLAC) where our technology were highlighted as an effective strategy for supporting prison resident learning programs.

Support for prison learners with limited reading skills is an essential part of the rehabilitation process. A number of studies have shown that education during incarceration can significantly reduce re-offending rates and employment opportunities for prison residents on release.

Also attending the event was an external independent researcher Scanning Pens has worked with previously, Christine Franklin of Christine Franklin Consultancy. She was invited to the PLAC to share her findings from studies held in four prisons. Within the studies, scanning pens were introduced to support inmate reading and analyse their effectiveness. Christine’s research is ongoing and expanding. You can learn more about her research on our website here.

During her talk, Christine explained the impact the technology of Scanning Pens provided for the emotional wellbeing of the prison residents. “The voice of the prisoner is so powerful” explained Christine. “I initially asked him to use a ReaderPen to ‘read’ a whole book. I wanted to get him to read something of interest for him, I wanted him to independently access the text, to find joy and interest in the subject matter. Where so many of these individuals will dread literacy, they are able to access the text with the help of reading aids. I watched a non-reading, long term inmate support his limited skills using a ReaderPen. His feelings of achievement, and pride at his achievement, was life changing for him.”

Sitting in the audience of Christine’s talk was a tutor who won the Outstanding Teacher award at the PLAC this year. The same tutor participated in one of these studies at their prison and had nothing but praise for the support they were able to provide.

Scanning pens are also being used in a prison officer study where POELTS participants have access to ReaderPens to support their studies and ExamReaders to support their tests and qualifications.

Christine can be contacted at a Scanning Pens email provided specifically for questions relating to the Scanning Pens’ research projects,

You can learn more about the ReaderPen and ExamReaders here: