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North Shropshire College

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NSC Access Students Experience Life in Prison

Oswestry, United Kingdom, October 21, 2015 --( Access to Higher Education (Access to HE) Health and Social Care, and Humanities students from North Shropshire College (NSC) have recently visited the now closed HM Prison Shrewsbury (also known as ‘The Dana’), where the students experienced what everyday life was like in the prison. The students are currently studying Crime and Deviance as part of their course, and so the visit provided the opportunity for a really useful and stimulating glimpse into the routines of prison life. The Dana is now open to the public and students took part in an interactive guided tour led by former prison officers.

The 136 year old prison was one of seven shut by the Ministry of Justice in 2013. Since its closure, many people in the local area have expressed an interest in having the opportunity to look around the iconic building. NSC’s students were taken on a tour through the admissions procedure, the cells, kitchen, exercise yard and workshops. A bust of prison reformer John Howard is above the main entrance to the prison. The street leading up to the prison from the main road is also named after him.

The history of the prison goes back to the eighteenth century. There has been a prison on the site since 1793, the original building being constructed by Thomas Telford to plans by Shrewsbury architect John Hiram Haycock, the present prison building was constructed in 1877. Interestingly, the prison took female convicts until 1922. A report in 2005 by HM Inspector of Prisons named Shrewsbury prison as the most overcrowded in England and Wales. In August 2008 a further report stated that the prison had 178 places in use but held 326 inmates - an overcrowding rate of 183%.

Student Emma Bojcun remarked, "It was really interesting and the role play made us fully aware of the prisoner process." Access tutor Katie Hall commented, "this was a wonderful opportunity for our students to better understand our Criminology unit."

The Access to HE course is 3 days a week, 9am to 3.30pm, and offers either a health or humanities pathway. An advanced learning loan is available to students unable to make course fee. A new course starts in January 2016; you can apply now on the NSC website to secure a place.

For more information or to apply, please visit or call the College Admissions Team on 01691 688080 or email You can also contact the Access Course Leader, Jill Cawthray, on 01691 688028 or email
Contact Information
North Shropshire College
Lucy Evans
01691 688039

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