What I've learned teaching Britain's inmates

20th February 2024

For the past seven years, Coracle CEO James Tweed has been providing laptops to prisoners so they can learn in their cells. Here's what he’s learned. 

Imagine you were sent to prison for the worst mistake you ever made in your life. Imagine spending years locked up. 

Imagine emerging today into a world that has been totally transformed in the time you were away. Where a digital revolution has taken place and affected every part of society. 

When you went inside, the internet wasn't central to everything, social media wasn't huge and smartphones were on the horizon. The world has changed and now you've just emerged into it and you don't even have a phone.

This is the reality for many people leaving prison today and it’s not good for anyone. The UK’s reoffending rate is incredibly high with more than 50 percent of prisoners reoffending within two years of being released.  I work with these people every day and I see their challenges.

I am the founder and CEO of Coracle, which provides inmates at 86 prisons in England and Wales with access to education in their cells through laptops. In April 2023, Coracle won a King’s Award for promoting opportunity. Our mission is to end digital exclusion.

Here are five things I’ve learned which I’d like everyone in business to know about.