Improving Access to Digital Technology

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We have been advocating for increased access to digital technology in prisons since 2012, and our expert Working Group advocates for the development of authorised use of technology in prisons.


The benefits of improved access to digital technology in prison include:

  • A reduction in re-offending, with individuals digitally skilled and literate, and prepared for release
  • Supporting the industrial strategy by addressing the nationwide skills shortage in technology-related roles
  • Increased access to educational opportunities for prisoners during evenings and weekends, and in-cell learning
  • A calmer prison environment and a safer working environment for prison officers


PLA work on digital technology includes:

  • Lobbying our colleagues at the Ministry of Justice and HMPPS to prioritise digital technology, through hosting meetings with key stakeholders and regularly connecting to discuss progress.
  • Monitoring HMPPS and IMB reports, to hold the prison inspectorate to account and ensure consistent reporting on education on information technology and access to virtual campus
  • Sharing our network’s collective voice to reach people with decision-making power, through social media, on our website, in our mailouts, throughout our events and in partnership with peer organisations.


PLA Briefing: The Digital Divide

In July 2020, PLA published a briefing which explores and offers examples of good practice in digital technology, as demonstrated by prisons around the world. From in-cell tablets to virtual reality headsets, innovative projects highlight the potential for valuable, secure internet access for prisoners.

Discover insights, case studies and PLA recommendations by downloading the briefing, The Digital Divide: Lessons from prisons abroad, below.


To find out more, or to join the Digital Technology Working Group, please get in touch.

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Wednesday Webinar: Using technology to reduce reoffending

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Dr Emma Palmer

Digital Technology in Prisons with Dr Emma Palmer

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Credit Ian Cuthbert PET 4

Wednesday Webinar: Assistive Technology in Prison Education with Christine Franklin

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Wednesday Webinar: Augmented Reality in YOIs with Darryl Jones and Richard Booth

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