How is the education platform SKnet used in the Danish Storstrøm prison?

Two students from Aalborg University have conducted a case study on the use of the education platform SKnet in the closed prison Storstrøm.

 

The master thesis "To prove there is another way" - A case study on ICT & rehabilitation in Storstrøm prison looks into the current use and challenges related to SKnet, an intranet educational platform. The SKnet is used in all the closed prisons in Denmark and is accessed by the prisoners from the computers inside those prisons, for around 4 hours per week.

The purpose of the Sknet platform is to:

  • Provide meaningful remote education to the prisoners by making available a wide number of educational fields while keeping in regard the security measures that need to be met.
  • Provide enough skills to the prisoners to be able to use them outside the prison as well as to smoothen the transition from the in-jail conditions to the outer world upon their release.
  • Make education in prison resemble the educational conditions of the pedagogical system of Danish society as much as possible.

Current use and challenges of using SKnet

The Danish Storstrøm prison is one of the closed institutions with the highest participation in the SKnet educational platform.

The case study has analysed the current use of SKnet in Storstrøm by interviewing prisoners from the prison. The prisoners use various educational programmes on the platform: from illiterate level to bachelor degree level of education. The prisoners download and print studying material like videos and text files as well as take exams on the platform.

The case study focuses also on the challenges the prisoners face while using the platform. Some of the challenges, outlined in the thesis, are:

  • The limited time, the prisoners have for accessing the system vs. the time they need to complete coursework.
  • Insufficient prison personnel to escort the prisoners during the use of the computers and the very limited.
  • The slow internet connection which is a challenge to downloading videos.

Interviews with prisoners and prison teachers

The case study is based on semi-structured interviews with six of the prisoners from Storstrøm prison. The authors have also conducted interviews and informal conversations with different stakeholders and experts in the field of prison and prison education such as prison teachers, guards, one of the primary SKnet developers and organisations meant to assist prisoners with their reintegration process.

About the authors

The case study is part of the master thesis "To prove there is another way" - A case study on ICT & rehabilitation in Storstrøm prison. The authors are Pavlos Hatzipolakis and Christos Georgoulakis, graduates of MSc in Techno-Anthropology, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Download the master thesis here. (pdf)

For more information, please contact Pavlos Hatzipolakis, paylosxatzipolakis@gmail.com.