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This week, students studying A-level and Applied Psychology were visited by a group of speakers for the College’s popular ‘Life Behind Bars’ conference. Students heard from ex-offenders, including people convicted of drug offences, burglary, fraud, and murder.

In the morning hundreds of Year 1 and Year 2 students gathered in the theatre, where the guests gave details about the crimes they committed, life in prison, and what they have been doing since being released. After lunch, the students had the opportunity to break out into smaller groups where they could ask questions to each speaker in turn, receiving honest and heartfelt answers about the consequences of their crimes on their lives, careers and families.

The guest speakers also gave meaningful advice to students about how to avoid ending up in similar situations, encouraging them to think about their emotional decision-making and peer groups they are a part of.

Year 2 A-level Psychology student Amy said, “It was very eye opening to hear the real experience of the ex-offenders and thought provoking about the justice system in our country.”

Adam Davolls, Psychology lecturer, said “This is a regular event that the department look forward to continuing in the future. As well as being interesting and insightful, it also has study benefits for the students. A-level Psychology students will be able to refer to information about reoffending and prison education programmes in their Criminal Psychology unit, and the Applied Psychology students can make use of information about prison mental health and the effects of confinement in their Psychopathology and Health units.”

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