The Open University Law School’s Public Legal Education in Prisons: Contributing to Rehabilitative Prison Culture




There is a massive unmet need for legal knowledge in prisons. The Open University Law School, through its Open Justice Centre, has trialled various ways in which to meet this unmet need. Most prison-university partnerships in England and Wales follow a model of prisoners and university students being taught together as one group in a traditional higher education learning format. The Open University Law School’s public legal education in prisons follows instead the Street Law model to disseminate knowledge of the law throughout a prison, either through prison radio or through the work of the charity St Giles Trust. While this article confirms other research findings which evidence the personal benefit law students derive in researching and delivering audience-appropriate public legal education, it also considers the benefit for those imprisoned in the context of rehabilitative prison culture.

Author Biographies

Keren Lloyd Bright, The Open University Law School

Senior Lecturer in Law

The Open University Law School

Maria McNicholl, St Giles Trust

Training & Development Manager

St Giles Trust






Reviewed Articles