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'I've met countless female prisoners – you don't know what's going on behind those eyes'

9th March 2024

A teacher who works with women in prison has revealed what it's really like getting up close and personal with female convicts in and outside the classroom, "some of them I could cry for," she says

Jenny, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, has worked in the prison service for 20 years, and at education firm Coracle for the last two.

As no stranger to the world of women's jails, Jenny had shared some of her most eye-opening experiences while preparing inmates for life on the outside.

Compared to blokes banged up, Jenny says rehabilitation women from a life of crime comes with tougher challenges. “In women’s prisons it's much more difficult,” she adds, “because their trust has been abused. There are lots of mental health issues and self-harm is huge in female prisons. I wonder about the support when they get out.